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'PHE 



INDIAN TRAVELS 



APOLLONIUS OF:TirA.NA, 



THE INDIAN EMBASSIES TO EOME 



REIGN OF AUGUSTUS TO THE DEATH 
OF JUSTINIAN. 



/■^.\/h^i 



BY 

OSMOND DE BEAUVOm PRIAULX. 



LONDON : 
QUARITCH, PICCADILLY. 

MDCCCLXXIII. 



T)S4o9 



CARPENTIER 



T. RICHAUDS, 37, GREAT QUEEN STREET, W.O. 



PREFACE. 



The several pieces, all relating to India, which make 
up this volume, appeared some years back in the 
Journals of the Asiatic Society. I cannot say that 
they then or ever excited the least interest, and but 
that there were omissions and faults in them which I 
wished to supply and correct, I certainly should not 
have thought of republishing them. I now for my own 
satisfaction reprint a small number of copies. 

With regard to the Indian Embassies I began the 
series in the hope that all of them would be as interest- 
ing and important as those to Augustus and Claudius ; 
but when I found that they were only barely mentioned 
by historians, and the later ones so mentioned that it was 
scarcely possible to ascertain whether they were Ethio- 
pian or Hindu, I was led on to enlarge my plan and to 
inquire into the Kelations of the Eoman Empire with 
India. My last paper had but just appeared, or was 



iv PREFACE. 

about to appear — it was read in 1862 and came out in 
1863 — when the late M. Eeinaud, the distinguished 
President of the Soci^t^ Asiatique published, first in 
the Journal Asiatique for 1863 and afterwards in a 
separate form, his " Eelations Politiques et Commer- 
ciales de I'Empire Eomain avec TAsie Orientale."* If 
I had been aware of M. Eeinaud's intentions, I as- 
suredly would not have ventured on a subject which I 
regarded as especially his own. As it is, we travelled 
the same road and naturally enough read the same 
guide-books, but we read them with a difference. Our 
stand-points were not the same. He sees everywhere 
the Eoman Empire; for him its wealth and civiliza- 
tion acted upon, and its majesty overawed, the most 
distant nations; from the heights of its Capitol he 
looked down upon a subject world. I on the other hand 
put myself in the Hindu's place — and this Empire spite 
its greatness then faded into a mere phantom, which 
still loomed large in the hazy distance, and which now 

* The whole title of his work is " Eelations Politiques et Com- 
merciales de TEmpire Eomain avec I'Asie Orientale (I'Hyrcanie, 
rinde, la Bactriane et la Chine) pendant les cinq premiers siecles 
de I'Ere Chretienne, d'apres les temoignages Latins, Grecs, Arabes, 
Persans, Indiens et Chinois." I do not know which were first 
published of the two journals, the English or the French. 



PREFACE. V 

and again, whenever some enterprising Eoman mercliant 
strayed to any far Eastern land, stirred up to wonder 
and speculation kings and princes, but never influenced 
their policy, and never occupied the imagination in any 
way of the people. 

After reading Eeinaud's work I must own that I 
hold still to my own view, but whether after reading 
Keinaud others will hold it with me is quite another 
matter. 



TRAVELS OF 



APOLLONIUS OF TYANA. 



THE 

INDIAN TEAVELS OF APOLLONIUg; hp' ' 

TYANA. .^'^ ■'• ' • > 



Philostratus, in liis life of Apollonius Tyanensis/ has 
given an account of that philosopher's visit to India. 
And as he professes to have drawn his materials from 
the note-book of Damis, ApoUonius's fellow-traveller 
and friend; as moreover he professes to have edited 
that note-book much as Hawkes worth edited the jour- 
nals of Cook, we may fairly assume that he has given 
an original and authentic account of India — and indeed 
the only one that has come down to us from the olden 
world in a complete state. Again, as Apollonius was 
the only Greek who up to his time had visited India 
for other purposes than those of war, negotiation, or 
commerce ; as he visited it to make himself acquainted 
with its rites, discipline, and doctrines ; and as he tra- 
velled unencumbered by a retinue, and was welcomed 
by its kings, and was with Damis for four months the 

1 For another account of Apollonius, by the aid of Satan a 
miracle worker and maker of talismans, reKeafxara, bat without 
mention of his Indian travels, see from Domninos (Malalas, Chron. 
B. X, pp. 263-4, Bonn ed., and Cedrenus, who refers to Philostratus, 
Hist, i, p. 431). 

B 



2 TRAVELS OF 

guest of its Brahmins ; he and Damis with him had 
every opportunity of familiar intercourse with all classes 
of its population, and of thus acquiring much and accu- 
rate information on matters beyond the reach of ordi- 
nary travellers. Philostratus's account then is full of 
pT^omiae ; and I propose to give a condensed translation 
of it, and afterwards to examine into its authority and 
value. ' 

Towards the close of the first half century of our era, 
Apollonius, then upwards of forty years of age^ and 
resident at Antioch, set out to visit India, its Brahmins 
and Sramans (T6p/jLav6<;), taking with him two family 
slaves to act apparently as his secretaries.^ At Nine- 
veh, he met with and was joined by Damis, a native of 
the place, who recommended himself to his notice by a 
practical knowledge of the road to Babylon, and an 
acquaintance with the Persian, Armenian and Cadusian 
languages. Together they journey on to Babylon, but 
warned by a dream first turn aside to visit Sissia and 
those Eretrians, whom Darius five hundred years before 
had settled there, and whom they find still speaking 
G-reek, and still as they heard using Greek letters,* and 

^ Tet he speaks of himself as a young man, -KpocrriKeiv yap v«^ 
avSpi airoSrjiJLeiv — I. B. 18 c ; and in Domninos he dies in his thirty- 
fourth year. — Malalas, u. s. 

^ I presume this from their qualifications ; the one is a good, 
the other a quick penman : fiera Svuiv OepairovToiv, olirep avrcp irarpiKO) 
TjaTTiu, 6 juev €s raxos ypacpuv, 6 5' es kuWos. ih. 

* Herodotus, vi, 119, cotemporary with the sons of the exiles, 
tells of these Eretrians and of their use of the Greek language — 
nothing improbable — but Philostratus intimates that when Apol- 
lonius visited them some four hundred years alterwards, they 



APOLLONIUS OF TYANA. 3 

still dwelling near that wondrous petroleum well so 
carefully described by Herodotus. 

After a stay at Babylon of eighteen months, ApoUo- 
nius, his friend and attendants, in the beginning of 
summer proceed for India on camels and with a guide 
furnished by the Parthian king Bardanes. Of their 
route we know only that it lay through a rich and 
pleasant country, and that the villages they traversed 
hurried to do them honour and to supply their wants ; 

still continued to use the Greek language and character. Is this 
credible ? The scattered Jews have not forgotten Hebrew. The 
Germans, whom Theodoric in the sixth century located in the 
mountains of the Vicentino, and who are known as the " Sette Com- 
muni," are to this day Germans ; and the French refugees who, 
after the edict of Nantes, settled at Friedrichsdorf in Hesse Hom- 
burg, are still French. But these fragments of nations lived in 
their own villages and married only among themselves ; and the 
Jews, if unlike them, they have in a certain sense mixed with the 
peoples among whom they have settled, yet they like them have 
only married with their own race ; and they have besides a sacred 
book written in a sacred language, the study of which is imperative 
and necessary to their happiness here and hereafter. But these 
Eretrians when they reached Susa were reduced, so writes Philo- 
stratus, to four hundred men and but ten women. Not more then 
than ten of their families spoke Greek as their mother tongue. 
Of the remaining three hundred and ninety men, all who married 
must have married native women, and their children spoke Persian 
certainly and possibly Greek— but with every succeeding genera- 
tion more Persian and less Greek— till after a few generations 
Greek must have been all but forgotten. And that this was so 
does not history by its very silence show ? Or how is it that from 
the age of Herodotus to that of Apollonius we never hear the voice 
of these Eretrians save in these pages ? And how is it that though 
so near to Babylon they escaped the notice of Alexander and his 
historians, who, the one so signally punished, and the other so 
carefully recorded the punishment of the perfidious and self-exiled 
Branchidse ? — Strabo, B. xi, xii, c. 49. 



4 TRAVELS OF 

for a gold plate^ on their leading camel announced them, 
guests of the king. We then hear of them enjoying 
the perfumed air^ at the foot of Caucasus, the mountain 
range which, while it separates India from Media, ex- 
tends by one of its branches to the Eed SeaJ Of this 
Caucasus, they heard from the barbarians myths like 
those of the Greek. They were told of Prometheus 
and Hercules, not the Theban, and of the eagle ; some 
pointed to a cavern, others to the mountain's two peaks, 
a stadium apart, as the place w^here Prometheus was 
bound ; and his chains, though of what made it is not 
easy to guess,^ still hung, Damis says, from the rocks. 
His memory too is still dear to the mountaineers, who 
for his sake still pursue the eagle w^ith hate ; and now 
lay snares for it, and now with fiery javelins destroy its 
nest.^ On the mountain they find the people already 

^ So Marco Polo relates that the monks sent by Kublai Khan 
on an embassy to the Pope, receive " une table d'or en laquel se 
contenoit ke les trois messages en toutes les pars qu'il alaissent 
lor deust estre donnee toutes les messions que lor bazongnoit et 
ohevalz et homes por lor escodre de une terre a I'autre." — P. 6, 
Ed. Societe Geographique. 

'^ So Burnes describes the plain of Peshawar, *' thyme and vio- 
lets perfumed the air," (Bokhara, ii, 70). At Muchnee " a sweet 
aromatic smell was exhaled from the grass and plants." (ih., 101.) 

7 Wilford says " the Indian ocean is called Arunoda, or the Red 
Sea, being reddened by the reflection of the solar beams from 
that side of Meru of the same colour." (As. Ees., viii, p. 320, 8vo.) 

s Kai Seafia 6 Aafxis an)<p9ai toop irerpuv \iyci, ov padia cvfi^aKMiv 
rtiv v\riv. — II. B. 3 c. 

9 The same tale is in Arrian and Strabo. Wilford thus accounts 
for it : not far from Banyam is the den of Garuda, the bird-god ; 
he devoured some servants of Maha Deva, and this drew upon him 
the resentment of that irascible deity, whose servants are called 
Pramat'has. As. Ees. vi, 312-3, corrected by viii, 259, and Eadja 
Taranjini, i, p. 414. 



APOLLONIUS OF TYANA. 

inclined to black/^ and the men four cubits high : on 
the other side the Indus the men reached five cubits.^ ^ 
On their way to the river, as they were going along in 
the bright moonshine, they fell in with an Empusa, who 
now in this form now in that followed after them ; until 
Apollonius, and at his instigation his companions, at- 
tacked it with scoffs and jeers, the only safeguard against 
it, and it fled away jabbering. ^^ 

As they approached the summit of the mountain, — 
the dwelling of the Gods as their guide told them, — 
they found the road so steep that they were obliged to 
go on foot. On the other side, in the country between 
Caucasus and the Cophen/^ they met men riding on 
elephants, but they Avere only elephant herdsmen ; 
others on dromedaries, which can run 1000 stadia in a 
day without rest.^* Here an Indian on a dromedary 
rode up to them and asked their guide whither they 

^0 Strabo, xv, I, § 13, Arrian, Indica, c. vi. 

11 Onesicritus, Frag. Hist. Alex. Didot, p. 55, § 25. Lord Corn- 
wallis (Correspondence) remarks on the great height of the Bengal 
Sepoys; Sir C. Napier (Life) thinks our infantry average two 
inches below them, but cover more ground. Tall men, therefore ; 
but five cubits ! 

'2 At the foot of the Indus and Cabool river... an ignis fatuus 
shows itself every evening. — Burnes, II, p. 68. And consult Ma- 
soudi's account of the goule and the mode in which the Arabs 
rid themselves of it. — Les Prairies d'or. III, p. 314, tr. de la Societe 
Asiatique. 

'3 Cophen, i. e. Cabool. Caucasus Gravakasas, the bright rock 
mountain, Bohlen, Das Alte Indien, I, p. 12. " Scyth8e...Cauca- 
sum montem Groucasum, h. e., nive candidum appellavere.*' — 
Plin. Hist. Nat., vi, 19. 

1* Elphinstone says, " An elderly minister of the Eaja of Bika- 
neer...had just come on a camel one hundred and seventy- five 
miles in three days." (Caubul, Introduction, p. 230, I, v.) Sir C. 
Napier mentions a march of eighty or ninety miles by his camel 
corps without a halt (Life of Sii- C. H. Napier, II, 418), and has 



6 TRAVELS OF 

were going ; and when he was told the object of their 
journey he told it again to the herdsmen, who shouted for 
joy, called to them to come near, and gave them wine 
and honey, both got from the palm ; and also slices of 
lion and panther flesh, just killed.^^ They accepted 
everything but the flesh, and rode onward in an easterly 
direction. 

At a fountain they sat down to dine ; and, in the 
course of conversation, ApoUonius observed that they 
had met many Indians singing, dancing, and rolling 
about drunk with palm wine:^^ and that the Indian 
money was of orichalcum and bronze — ^purely Indian, 
and not stamped like the Eoman and Median coins. ^'' 

They crossed the Cophen, here not very broad or 

no doubt with riding camels of marching two hundred miles in 
forty-eight hours. — III, 78. 

15 An exaggeration of a remark of Arrian*s probably : ^iTO(t>ayoi 
5€...Ii'5oi eiaiv, daoi ye fir} opeioi avruw ovroi Se ra 6r}pfia Kpea anfovrai 
("Indica," xvii, § 5), e. g. "bear's flesh and anything else they can 
get" (Elphinstone of Caufiristaun, ih., II, 434), " they all eat flesh 
half raw" {ih., 438). Sir C. Malet in a letter to Forbes tells of a 
lion killed by him near Cambay. "The oil of the lion was ex- 
tracted by stewing the flesh when cut up with a quantity of spices : 
the meat was white and of a delicate appearance, and was eaten 
by the hunters."— Orient. Mem., II, p. 182, 8vo. Sir H. Holland, 
in his Eemains, speaks of having tasted " filet de lion" in Algeria, 
but of it as coarse and unpleasant. 

16 Of the same mountaineers, Elphinstone : " they drink wine to 
excess" {ih.) And see from the Karnaparva an account of the 
people of the Panjab, their irreverence, drunkenness, and disso- 
luteness, to be matched however in our moral and Christian Lon- 
don (Slokas, 11-13 ; in the Appendix to vol. i of Raj. Taran., 562). 
JElian, i, 61, speaks of the Indian drinking bouts ; Pliny of the 
wine : " Eeliquos vinum, ut Indos, palmis exprimere" (Hist. Nat., 
vi, 32) : the Vishnu Purana of wine from the Kadamba tree. — 
P. 571, note 2. 

17 The Indian money is : u\7j KfKoix^euixevri, metal refined, prepared ; 



APOLLONIUS OF TYANA. 7 

deep, themselves in boats, their camels on foot, and 
now entered a country subject to a king. Here they 
saw Mount Nysa ; it rises up to a peak, like Tmolus^^ 
in Lydia. It is cultivated, and its ascent has thus been 
made practicable. On its summit they found a moderate 
sized temple of Bacchus ; this temple was a circular 
plot of ground, enclosed by a hedgerow of laurels, vines, 
and ivy,^^ all of which had been planted by Bacchus 
himself, and had so grown and intertwined their 
branches together as to form a roof and walls impervious 
to the wind and rain. In the interior Bacchus had 
placed his own statue — in form an Indian youth, but of 
white stone. About and around it lay crooked knives, 
baskets and wine-vats in gold and silver, as if ready for 
the vintage. Aye, and the cities at the foot of the 
mountain hear and join in his orgies, and Nysa itself 
quakes with them. 

About Bacchus,2^Philostratus goes on to say — whether 

and the Eoman K^xf^pay/xsp-n, stamped. In Menu's time gold and 
silver coins were probably unknown, for he gives (viii, 131) " the 
names of copper, silver, and gold weights commonly used among 
men," TAtj KeKofirpiv/xevr), probably; but when ApoUonius visited 
India we know that money, gold and silver coins, were current, 
issued by the Indo-Greek and Indo-Scythic kings, vide Lassen, 
** Baktrische Konige," passim. 

*8 Nishadha, probably to the south of Meru (Vishnu Purana, 
167). Arrian similarly connects Tmolus with Nysa. — Exped. 
Alex., V, 1. 

19 Laurels and ivy Alexander finds on Meru ; vines too by impli- 
cation (Arrian, Exped., v, ii, § 6), but vines on which the grapes 
do not ripen (Strabo, xv, § 8). Burnes says that in Cabool the 
vines are so plentiful that the grapes are given for three months 
in the year to cattle \^ut sup., ii, 131. See also Wilson's Ariana 
Antiq., p. 193). 

^ Chares, Hist. Alex., p. 117, § 13, one of the historians of Alex- 



8 TRAVELS OF 

speaking in his own person or from tlie journal of Damis 
I know not — Greeks and Hindus are not agreed; for 
tlie former assert that the Theban Bacchus with his 
bacchanals conquered and overran India, and they cite, 
among other proofs, a discus of Indian silver in the 
treasury at Delphi, with this inscription : " Bacchus, 
Jove and Semele's son, from India to the Delphian 
Apollo." But of the latter, the Indians of the Caucasus 
believe that he was an Assyrian stranger, not un- 
acquainted however with him of Thebes ; while those of 
the Indus and Ganges declare that he was the son of 
the Indus,^^ and that the Theban Bacchus was his dis- 
ciple and imitator, though he called himself the son of 
Jove, and pretended to have been born of Jove's thigh,^^ 
/mrjpo^f Meros, a mountain near to N"ysa. They add, 
that in honour of his Indian prototype, he planted Nysa 
with vines brought from Thebes, and on Nysa the Greek 
historians assert that Alexander celebrated the Bacchic 
orgies,^^ but the mountaineers will have it that Alex- 
ander, speaks of an Indian god, 'Sopoadeios, Sanscrit, Suradevas (von 
Bohlen), Suryadeva, the Sun God (ScLlegel, Ind. Bib., i, 250) ; 
whicli being interpreted is oivoiroios, tlie wine maker ; but the Vishnu 
Parana knows of no wine god, only of a wine goddess (Varuna, 
vide, pp. 76, 571, 4to. ed.) In general, however, Bacchus may be 
identified with Siva, and Hercules with Vishnu and Krishna. 

21 For the Indo-Bacchus myth, see Arrian, v, i, who receives it 
with hesitation ; and Strabo, xv, I, 9, who rejects it ; Lassen, Ind. 
Alt., II, 133 ; von Bohlen, ut sup., I, 142 ; and Schwanbeck on 
Megasthenes, " Frag. Hist.," II, 420, Didot. 

22 « Aroushi fille de Manou fut I'epouse de ce sage. Elle con9ut 
de lui ce fameux Aaurva qui vint au monde en per9ant la cuisse 
de son pere." — Mahabharata, i, 278; Fauche, tr. 

23 According to Arrian, ut sup., and II, 5, it was Meru that 
Alexander ascended, and on Meru that he feasted and sacrificed to 
Bacchus. 



APOLLONIUS OF TYANA. 9 

ander, notwithstanding his love of glory and of anti- 
quity, never ascended the mountain, but satisfied him- 
self with prayer and sacrifice at its foot. He so feared 
lest the sight of the vines should raise in his soldiers, 
long accustomed to water, a longing for wine and the 
ease and pleasures of home. 

The rock Aornus,^* though at no great distance from 
Nysa, Darnis says they did not visit, as it was somewhat 
out of their way. He heard however that it had been 
taken by Alexander, and was fifteen stadia in Jieight ; 
and that it w^as called Aornus, not because no bird 
could fly over it, but because there was a chasm on its 
summit which drew down to it all birds, much like the 
Parthenon at Athens, and several places in Phrygia and 
Lydia.25 

On their way to the Indus, they fell in with a lad 
about thirteen years old riding an elephant and urging 
him ojk with a crooked rod, which he thrust into him 
like an anchor. On the Indus itself they watched a 
lierd of about thirty elephants, whom some huntsmen 
were pursuing.^^ Apollonius admired the sagacity the 
elephants displayed in crossing the river ; the smallest 
and lightest led the way, the mothers followed holding 

^ Strabo, xv, L. i, § 8. Aornus ; Awara, Awarana, a stockade. — 
Wilson, Ariana Antiqua, p. 192; but Eenas according to v. Bohlen, 
and Rani-garh according to Lassen, Indische Alterthums : 140, 
note 7. 

25 See Eustathius Com. in Dionys., p. 403, II Geog. Min. Ac- 
cording to one of his authorities, the lake Lycophron like the lake 
Aornus was impassable to birds because of its noisome exhalations. 

26 Just in the same locality (see Arrian, IV, xxx, 7) Alexander 
first sees a troop of elephants, and afterwards joins in an elephant 
hunt. 



10 TRAVELS OF 

up tlieir cubs with their tusks and trunks, while the 
largest brought up the rear. He spoke of their docility ; 
their love for their keeper, how they would eat out of 
his hand like dogs, coax him with their trunks, and, as 
he had seen among the nomads, open wide their mouths 
for him to thrust his head down their throats. He told 
too, how during the night they would bewail their sla- 
very, not with their usual roar, but with piteous moans ; 
and how, out of respect for man, they would at his 
approach stay their wailing; and he referred their 
docility and ready obedience more to their own self- 
command and tractable nature, than to the skill or power 
of their guide and rider. From the people they heard 
that elephants were found in the marsh, the mountain, 
and the plain. According to the Indians,^'' the marsh 
elephant is stupid and idle ; its teeth are few and black, 
and often porous or knotted, and will not bear the knife. 
The mountain elephants are treacherous and malignant, 
and, save for their own ends, little attached to man ; 
their teeth are small, but tolerably white, and not hard 
to work. The elephants of the plain are useful animals, 
tractable and imitative ; they may be taught to write, 
and to dance and jump to the sound of the pipe f^ their 
teeth are very long and white and may be easily cut to 
any shapes. The Indians use the elephant in war ; they 
fight from it in turrets, large enough for ten or fifteen 
archers or spearmen ; and they say that it will itself 

2'' All this was borrowed probably from Juba, but is so put as to 
seem to rest on Hindu authority ; for ^lian, § 4 ; xiii, II, 1, of the 
kinds of elephants. — tovs h^v e/c tuv €\<»v aKiaKofievovs avorjTovs Tjyovv- 
Tai IvSoi. 

'Q Confer Porphyry de Abstinentia, III, 15 ; died a.d. 305. 



APOLLONIUS OF TYANA. 11 

join in the fight, holding and throwing the spear with 
its trunk as with a hand. The Indian elephant is of a 
large size, as much larger than the Lybian as this than 
the Nissean horse. It lives to a great age, and Apol- 
lonius saw one in Taxila which had fought against 
Alexander about three hundred and fifty years before, 
and which Alexander had honoured with the name of 
Ajax. On its tusks were golden bracelets, with this 
inscription: ''Ajax to the sun, from Alexander, the son 
of Jove." The people were accustomed to anoint it 
with unguents, and ornament it with garlands."^ 

When about to cross the Indus, their Babylonian 
guide, who was unacquainted with the river, presented 
to the Satrap of the Indus a letter from Bardanes. And 
the Satrap, out of regard to the king, though no ofi&cer 
of his, supplied them with his own barge for them- 
selves, boats for their camels, and a guide to the Hydra - 
otis. He also wrote to his sovereign, to beg him that, 
in his treatment of this Greek and truly divine man, he 
would emulate the generosity of Bardanes. 

Where they crossed, the Indus was forty stadia in 
breadth.^^ It takes its rise in the Caucasus f^ and, from 

29 Pliny (vili, v) describes the elephant as crossing rivers in the 
same way ; he speaks of their wonderful self-respect, " mirus 
pudor," and of one called Ajax; Arrian (Indica, c. 14 and 15) of 
their grief at being captured, of their attachment to their ke*^pers, 
their love of music, and their long life extending though to but 
two hundred years (Onesicritus gives them three hundred, and 
sometimes five hundred years. — Strabo, xv) ; JElian (xiii, § 9) and 
Pliny (viii) state that they carry three warriors only, and are much 
larger than the African. The division into marsh and plain, etc., 
I suspect is from Juba. 

*• Ctesias, 488, says the Indus is forty stadia where narrowest. 



12 TR/VVELS OF 

its Yerj fountain, is larger {/jbet^co avroOev) than any 
other river in Asia.'^^ In its course it receives many 
navigable rivers. Like the Mle^^ it overflows the 
country, and deposits a fertilizing mud, which, as in 
Egypt, prepares the land for the husbandman. It 
abounds, like the Mle, with sea-horses and crocodiles,^^ 
as they themselves witnessed in crossing it {/cofit^ofjuevoi, 
Be Boa Tov IvBov) ; and it produces, too, the same 
flowers. In India the winter is warm, the summer 
stifling ; but the heat, providentially, is moderated by 
frequent rains. The natives told him, tliat when the 
season for the rise of the river is at hand, the king 
sacrifices on its banks black bulls and horses (black 
among them, because of their complexion, being the 
nobler colour), and after tlie sacrifice throws into the 
river a gold measure like a corn measure, — why, the 
people themselves knew not; but probably, as Apol- 
lonius conjectured, for an abundant harvest, or for such 
a moderate^^ rise of the river as would benefit the land. 

See Lassen, ut sup., II, 637, who accounts for Ctesias's exag-gera- 
tion (his reasons do not apply to Damis ), and Wilson's Notes on 
the Indica of Ctesias, who excuses it (p. 13). 

8^ " Indus... in jugo...Caucasi montis...effusus...undeviginti ac- 
cipit Simn.es... nusquam latior quinquaginta stadiis." — Pliny, Hist. 
Nat., vi, 23. 

^■^ So Ctesias, so Ibn Batuta : " the Scinde is the greatest river 
in the world, and overflows during the hot weather just as the 
Nile does ; and at this time they sow the land." Burnes, I think, 
shows that it carries a greater body of water than the Ganges. 

33 Strabo, xv. § 16. 

31 Eratosthenes gives it the same animals as the Nile, except 
the sea-horse ; Onesicritus the sea-horse also. — Strabo, u. s., 13. 

35 Sir C. Napier attributed a fever which prostrated his army 
and the natives to an extraordinary rise of the Indus. — Quarterly 
Eeview, October 1858, p. 499. 



APOLLONIUS OF TYANA. Ii3 

Tlie Indus passed, their new guide led them straight 
to Taxila,^^ where was the palace of the Indian king. 
The people here wore cotton, the produce of the country, 
and sandals made of the fibre or bark of the papyrus^^ 
{vTTohrjfiara /SvjSXov), and a leather cap when it rained. 
The better classes were clad in byssus, a stuff wdtli 
whicli Apollonius, who affected a sombre colour in 
his dress, was much pleased. This byssus grows on 
a tree, like the poplar in its stem, but with leaves 
like the wiUow ; it is exported into Egypt for sacred 
uses. 

Taxila^^ was about the size of Nineveh, w^alled like a 
Greek cit}^, and was the residence of a sovereign who 
ruled over what of old was the kingdom of Porus. Just 
outside the walls^^ was a temple of near a hundred feet, 
of porphyry'^ (\l6ou KoyxyXcarov) , and in it a shrine, 

^ See Aristobulus, Account of the Progress of Alexander. — 
Strabo, u. s., § 17. 

=" AiTian's Indica : *' Their dress is of cotton, their sandals of 
leather;" but Herodotus gives the Egyptian priests, virodrjuaTa 
Pv&\ipa—II, 37. 

i8 Wilford (As. Ees., viii, 349) speaks of Tacshaila and its ruins ; 
Wilson identifies Taxila with Taksha-sila of the Hindus between 
the Indus and Hydaspes, in the vicinity of Manikyala (Ar. Ant., 
196, Elphinstone, ed. 1, 130). Arrian celebrates its size and wealth 
the largest city between the Indus and the Hydaspes. — V, 8, 
Exp. Alex. 

'■^^ Ram Eaz (Architecture of the Hindus, p. 2), of the temples of 
Vishnu and Siva, says that the latter should be without the village. 
Hiouen-Thsang (I, 151), describes Taxila, and speaks of a stupa 
and convent outside the walls, built by Asoka. 

■^o The tope of Manikyala described by Elphinstone is a hundred 
(150) paces in circumference, and seventy feet high {Ari. Ant., 31). 
Lassen (II, 514, com. 1181) speaks of the influence of Greek art on 
Indian architecture; but adds, that the Indians built with brick. 
They may, however, have faced their buildings with stone; and 



14 TRAVELS OF 

small considering the size of the temple and its many 
columns, but still very beautiful. Eound the shrine 
were hung pictures on copper tablets, representing the 
feats of Alexander and Porus. The elephants, horses, 
soldiers, and armour, were portrayed in a mosaic*^ of 
orichalcum, silver, gold, and oxydised copper {fiekavo 
'XoXkg)); the spears, javelins, and swords in iron; but 
the several metals were all worked into one another 
with so nice a gradation of tints, that the pictures they 
formed, in correctness of drawing, vivacity of expression, 
and truthfulness of perspective,*^ reminded one of the 
productions of Zeuxis, Polygnotus and Euphranor. 
They told too of the noble character of Porus, for it 
was not till after the death of Alexander that he placed 
them in the temple, — and this, though they represented 
Alexander as a conqueror, and himself as conquered 
and wounded, and receiving from Alexander the king- 
dom of India. 

In this temple they wait until the king can be 
apprised of their arrival. Apollonius whiles away the 
time with a conversation upon painting, in the course 
of which he remarks that colour is not necessary to a 
picture; that an Indian drawn in chalk would be 
known as an Indian and black of colour, by his some- 
what flat nose, his crisp hair, his large jaws, and wild 

the X160S Ko'yx^'^^o-T'n^ ma-y have been of tliat porphyry, or red 
marble, used in the tombs at Tattah. — Life of Sir C. Napier, iv, 38. 

^^ Lassen (513-14) states, on Sinhalese authority, that the Hin- 
dus were skilled in mosaics ; and (II, 426-7) he describes a casket, 
the figures on which he supposes were of a mosaic of precious 
stones. 

*^ To evax^ov TO efiirvovy Kai to ea^xop T€ Kai e|exor. 



APOLLONIUS OF TYANA. 15 

eyes."^^ While they are thus talking, a messenger and 
interpreter arrive from the king, with a permit for them 
to enter the city, and to stay in it three days, beyond 
which time no strangers are allowed in Taxila. 

They are taken to the palace. They found the city 
divided by narrow streets, well-arranged, and remind- 
ing them of Athens. From the streets, the houses 
seemed of only one story, but they all had an under- 
ground floor.** They saw the Temple of the Sun, and 
in it statues of Alexander and Porus, the one gold, the 
other of bronze {/uueXavi 'xoKkm) ; its walls were of red 
marble, but glittering with gold ; the image of the god 
was of pearls,*^ having, as is usual with the barbarians 
in sacred things, a symbolical meaning. 

The palace was distinguished by no extraordinary 
magnificence, and was just like the house of any citizen 
of the better class. There were no sentinels or body- 
guards and but few servants about, and perhaps three 
or four persons who were waiting to talk with the king. 
The same simplicity was observable in the courts, halls, 
waiting and inner rooms ; and it pleased ApoUonius 
more than all the pomp of Babylon. When admitted 
to the king's presence, ApoUonius, through the inter- 
preter, addressed the king as a philosopher, and com- 

''^ Arrian, Indica, vi, and compare with it Vishnu Parana, note 
4, p. 100, where is a description of the barbarous races of India. 

•''* Lassen, ut siijp., 514. The underground floor, Elphinstone 
says, even the poor have at Peshawur. — Caubul, Introduc, p. 74. 

^^ "On represente le soleil la face rouge... ses membres sont 
prononcps, il porte des pendants a ses oreilles. Un collier de perles 
lui descend du cou sur la poitrine." — Reinaud, Mem. sur I'lnde, 
p. 121. "Albyrouny rapporte que de son temps il y avoit un 
temple erige au soleil, avec une statue." — pp. 97, 98, 99. 



16 TRAVELS OF 

plimented him on his moderation. The king, Phraotes, 
in answer, said that he was moderate because his w^ants 
were few, and that as he was wealthy, he employed his 
wealth in doing good to his friends and in subsidizing 
the barbarians, his neighbours, to prevent them from 
themselves ravaging, or allowing other barbarians to 
ravage his territories. Here one of his courtiers offered 
to crowm him with a jewelled mitre, but he refused it, 
as well because all pomp was hateful to him, as because 
of ApoUonius's presence. 

Apollonius inquired into his mode of life. The king 
told him that he drank but little wine, as much as he 
usually poured out in libation to the sun ; that he 
hunted for exercise/^ and gave away wdiat he killed ; 
that, for himself, he lived on vegetables and herbs, and 
the head and fruit of the palm, and other fruits^^ which 
he cultivated with his own hands. With this account 
of his kingly tastes and occupations Apollonius was de- 
lighted, and he frequently looked at Damis. They now 
talked together a long time about the road to the Brah- 
mans ; and when they had done, the king ordered the 
Babylonian guide to be treated with the hospitality 
wont to be shown to travellers from Babylon, and the 
satrap guide to be sent back home with the usual travel- 
ling allowance. Then taking Apollonius by the hand, 

^^ V. Strabo, of the Mysicani, ih., 34.' "But drinking, dice, 
women and hunting, let the king consider as the four most per- 
nicious vices." — Menu, vii, 50. 

47 Arrian, Indica, xi, c. § 8. So Nacir Eddin of Delhi, " copiat 
des exemplaires du livre illustre, les vendait, et se nourrissait avec 
le prix qu'il en retirait." — Ibn Batoutah, 169, iii, tr. d. 1. Soc. 
Asiatique. 



APOLLONIUS OF TYANA. 17 

and ordering the interpreter to leave them, Phraotes 
asked him, in Greek, to receive him, the king, as a table 
companion. ApoUonius, surprised, inquired why he 
had not spoken Greek from the first. " Because", an- 
swered the king, " I would not seem bold, or to forget 
til at I am, after all, only a barbarian ; but your kind- 
ness, and the pleasure you take in my conversation, 
have got the better of me, and I can no longer conceal 
myself from you. And how I became thus acquainted 
with Greek I will presently show you at large." " But 
why," again asked ApoUonius, " instead of inviting me, 
did you beg me to invite you to dinner ?" " Because," 
said the king, " I look on you as the better man ; for 
wisdom is above royalty {to ^ap ^aaCKiKcoTepov o-o<j)ta 
€X€i')'^^ So saying, he led him to the place where he 
was accustomed to bathe.^^ This was a garden,^^ about 
a stadium long, with a swimming bath of cold running 
water in the middle of it, and on each side an exercising 
ground. Here he practised the discus and the javelin, 
Greek fashion,^^ and then, when tired, jumped into the 
water, and exercised himself with swimming. Atter 

*^ The old Stoic maxim : " Solus sapiens rex." Olearius in 
Philost. 

'^^ Hiouen Thsang, I, 70, 71, describes the nice cleanliness of the 
Indians, but confines the washing before meat to the hands. 

w Confer Elian's description of the garden of the Indian kings, 
xiii, c. 18, de Nat. Animal. 

" Menu of the kingly duties : " Having consulted with his mi- 
nisters,... having used exercise becoming a warrior, and having 
bathed, let the king enter at noon his private apartments for the 
purpose of taking food" (vii, 216). But Strabo (xv, i, 51) says, 
the Indians use friction rather than gymnastic exercises. 

C 



18 TRAVELS OF 

the bath they went to dinner, crowned with garlands,^^ 
as is usual with the Indians when they feast in the 
king's palace. 

Of the dinner Damis has given a detailed account. 
The king, and about five of his family with him, lay on 
a low couch ; the other guests sat on stools. The table 
was like an altar, about as high as a man's knee; it was 
in the middle of the room, round, and as large as would 
be a circle formed by thirty people with joined hands 
standing up to dance. It was strewed over with laurel, 
and a sort of myrtle from which the Indians prepare 
their unguents, and was set out with fish and birds, the 
carcases of lions and goats and sows, and with tiger 
loins^^ — the only part of the tiger they eat, and this be- 
cause they suppose that at its birth it raises its fore- 
paws to the rising sun. Each guest, as he wanted any- 
thing, got up and went to the table ; and taking a bit of 
this, cutting off a slice of that, he returned to his seat 
and ate his fill, always eating bread with his meat. 
When they had had enough, gold and silver bowls, each 
one large enough for ten guests, were brought in, and 
from these they drank, stooping down like cattle. In 
the meanwhile, they were amused by various feats which 
required no little skill and courage : a javelin was 
thrown upward, and at the same time a boy leaped at 

^2 " Le roi et ses ministres ornent lenrs tetes de guirlandes do 
fleurs." — Hiouen Thsang, p. 70, I, v. 

^ Strabo, quoting Nearchus, better describes the Indians, at 
least he describes them as we at this day find them : /urj5f '^ap 
voaovs iivai iroWas Tiia rrjv Xirorrjra ttjs Siamjs Kai rrjp aoiuiav (xv, 1, 
45 ), their food principally opv^av po^rjTTjj/, rice curry or porridge ? 
— § 53. See however, n. 17, p. 6, sux>ra.i 



APOLLONIUS OF TYANA. 19 

it and tumbled head over heels while in the air, but in 
such a way that lie passed over the javelin as it fell, 
and with the certainty of being wounded if he did not 
properly time his somersault ; indeed the weapon was 
carried round, and the guests tested its sharpness. One 
man also was so good a marksman, that he set up his 
own son against a board, and then threw his darts, so 
aiming tliem that, fixed in the board, they traced out 
his son's outline.^* 

Damis and tlie others were much amused with these 
entertainments ; but ApoUonius, who was at .the king's 
table, paid little attention to them ; and, turning to the 
king, asked him, how he came to know Greek, and 
where he acquired his philosophy. The king, smiling, 
answered, " In old times when a ship put into port, the 
people used to ask its crew if they were pirates,^^ piracy 
was then so common. But now, though philosophy is 

^ A Cliinese juggler lately performed the same feat in London, 
and a very small feat compared with that of Baresanes, an Arme- 
nian, which Julius Africanus himself witnessed. He shot his arrows 
with such precision as with them to sketch out on a shield the 
portrait of the man who had it. See the passage from the Keo-rot, 
quoted by Hilgenfeld (Bardesanes, p. 14, n. 6). This archer, Bar- 
desanes, Hilgenfeld is inclined to think is the same man as the 
heresiarch Bardesanes; for they were cotemporaries, and both 
were connected with the court of the Abgari. But one was a 
learned man and a philosopher, the other skilled in archery — and 
so skilled, that whatever his natural aptitude, he never could have 
attained to his wonderful proficiency but by life-long painstaking 
practice, a devotion to his art only to be met with in him who 
has to live by it, and quite incompatible with the cultivated tastes 
and scholarship of his namesake. It would require some very 
strong evidence to induce me to identify them as one and the 
same. 

*5 Allusion to Thucydides, I. 



20 TRAVELS OF 

God's most precious gift to man, the first question you 
Greeks put to a stranger, even of the lowest rabble, is 
'Are you a philosopher ?' And in very truth with you 
Greeks, I speak not of you Apollonius, philosophy is 
much the same as piracy, for to the many who profess 
it, it is like an ill-fitting garment which they have 
stolen, and in which they strut about awkwardly, trail- 
ing it on the ground. And like thieves, on whom the 
fear of justice presses, they hurry to enjoy the present 
hour, and give themselves up to gluttony, debauchery, 
and effeminacy ; and no wonder, for while your laws 
punish coiners of bad money, they take no cognizance 
of the authors and utterers of a false philosophy. Here, 
on the other hand, philosophy is a high honour, and be- 
fore we allow any one to study it, we first send him to 
the home of the Brahmans, who inquire into his charac- 
ter and parentage. He must shew that his progenitors, 
for three generations, have been without stain or re- 
proach, and that he himself is of pure morals and of a 
retentive intellect. The character of his progenitors," 
the king went on to say, " if of living men, was ascer- 
tained from witnesses ; and if of dead, was known from 
the public records.^^ For when an Indian died, a legally 
appointed officer repaired to his house, and inquired 
into, and set down in writing, his mode of life, and 
exactly, under the penalty of being declared incapable 

^ Strabo of the Indian city sediles says a part took note of the 
birth and deaths, that the birth or death of good or bad men may 
be known : jjltj a(pav€is eieu al Kpeiroves Kat x^^^P^^^ yovai Kai Qavaroi 
(XV, 1, 51) ; from Megasthenes, Frag. Hist., II, p. 431, § 37, and 
consult Bardesanes' account of the 2a^aj/atot in 1. iv, c. 17, of Por- 
phyry de Abstinentia. 



APOLLONIUS OF TYANA. 21 

of holding any public office. As to the youth himself, 
they judged him worthy or otherwise from his eyes, eye- 
brows, and cheeks, which as in a mirror reflect the mind 
and disposition." 

The king then told how his father, the son of a king, 
had been left very young an orphan ; and how during 
his minority two of his relatives according to Indian 
custom acted as regents, but with so little regard to law, 
that some nobles conspired against them, and slew them 
as they were sacrificing to the Indus, and seized upon 
the government ; — how on this his father, then sixteen 
years of age, fled to the king beyond the Hydaspes, a 
greater king than himself, who received him kindly, and 
oftered either to adopt him, or to replace him on his 
throne ; and how, declining this offer, he requested to 
be sent to the Brahmans ; and how the Brahmans edu- 
cated him ; and how in time he married the daughter 
of the Hydaspian king, and received with her seven 
villages as pin-money (ek ^cov7]v), and had issue one 
son, — himself, Phraotes. Phraotes told of himself, that 
he was brought up by his father in the Greek fashion 
till the age of twelve; that he was then sent to the 
Brahmans, and treated by them as a son, for "they 
especially love", he observed, "those who know and 
speak Greek, as akin to them in mind and disposition"; 
that his parents died ; and that in his nineteenth year, 
just as, by the advice of the Brahmans, he was begin- 
ning to take into his own hands the management of his 
estates, he was deprived of them by the king, his uncle, 
and was then supported with four servants by willing 
contributions from his mother's freedmen {aireXevdepoov). 



22 TRAVELS OF 

As however he is one day reading the Heraclidse, he 
hears from a friend of his father's, that if he will return 
home, he may recover his family kingdom, but he must 
he quick. The tragedy he was reading he accepts as 
an omen ; and he goes on to say : — " When I crossed 
the Hydraotis, I heard that, of the usurpers, one was 
already dead, and the other besieged in this very palace ; 
so I Imrried on, proclaiming to the villages I passed 
through who I was, and what were my rights : and the 
people received me gladly; and declaring I was the very 
picture of my father and grandfather, they accompanied 
me, many of them armed with swords and bows, and 
our numbers increased daily; and when we reached 
this city, the inhabitants, with torches lit at the altar 
of the Sun, and singing the praises of my father and 
grandfather, came out and welcomed me, and brought 
me hither. But the drone within they walled up,^'' 
though I begged them not to kill him in that way. 

Apollonius then enquired whether the Sophoi of 
Alexander and these Brahmans were the same people. 
The king told him they were not; that Alexander's 
Sophoi were the Oxydracse,^^ a free and warlike race, 
but rather dabblers in philosophy than philosophers f^ 
that the Brahman country lay between the Hyphasis 
and the Ganges ; and that Alexander never invaded 
it — not through fear, but dissuaded by the appearance 

57 I prefer Olearius's reading, rov Se eiaao xvl^V^o- ""ept, to reixos 
fip^uv, better suited to tlie xv^PW"" 

53 Strabo, xv, I, 33, connects them with the Malli. Bumes 
identifies them with the people of Ooch, the Malli with those of 
Mooltan. — Ut sup., I, p. 99. 

59 ^o<piap 5e fierax^ipiaaoBai, ovSey xP't'^'^o'^ etSoras. — Philost., II, 
C. 33. 



APOLLONIUS OF TYANA. 23 

of the sacrificial victims. "And though," said Phraotes, 
he might it is true have crossed the Hyphasis and 
occupied the neighbouring lands, yet the stronghold of 
the Brahmans he never could have taken — no, not 
though every man in his army had been an Ajax or an 
Achilles.^^ For these sacred and god-loved men would 
have driven him back — not with human weapons, but 
with thunders and lightnings, and tempests, as they 
had routed the Egyptian Hercules and Bacchus, who 
thought with united arms to have stormed their fort ; 
and so routed them, that Hercules it is said threw away 
his golden shield, which, because of its owner's renown 
and its own embossments,^^ they then set up as an 
offering in their temple." 

While they were thus conversing, music and a song 
were introduced, on which ApoUonius enquired what the 
festal procession meant. The king explained to him that 
it was usual with the Indians to sing to the king before 
he retired to rest, songs of good counsel, wishing him 
good dreams, and that he may rise in the morning a 
good man and a wise counsellor for his people^^. And 

«> So the pseudo-Callistlienes notices the OxydracaB as speaking 
Greek, p. 88, and as visited but not conc[uered by Alexander, p. 
99, ed. Muller. 

61 These embossments represented, the king goes on to say, 
Hercules setting up his pillars at Gades, and driving back the 
ocean ; proof, he asserts, that it was the Egyptian, and not the 
Theban Hercules, who was at Gades. 

«2 Menu, among the vices the king is to shun, names dancing 
and instrumental music (vii, 47), but afterwards advises that, " in 
the inmost recesses of his mansion, having been recreated by 
musical strains, he should take rest early." — vii, 224-5 ; see, how- 
ever. As. Ees., ix, p. 76. 



24 TEAVELS OF 

SO talking, they went to bed. The next morning, Apol- 
lonius discourses upon sleep and dreams, and the king 
displays his knowledge of Greek legends. They then 
separate — the king to transact the business of his 
kingdom and to decide some law-suits — Apollonius to 
offer his prayers to the Sun. When they again meet, 
the king tells Apollonius that the state of the victims 
had not permitted the Court to sit on that day, and he 
lays before him a case in dispute — one of treasure- 
trove, and in land which has just changed hands, the 
buyer and seller both claiming the treasure. The king 
is in much perplexity, and states the pleas on both 
sides ; and the suit might have been drawn out to the 
same length, and become as celebrated as that of the 
ass and the shadow at Abdera, had not Apollonius 
come to his assistance. He inquires into the life and 
character of the litigants ; finds that the seller is a bad, 
and the purchaser a good man ; and to the last there- 
fore awards the treasure. 

When the three days of their sojourn were expired, 
and the king learns that their camels from Babylon are 
worn out, he orders that of his white camels^ on the 
Indus, four shall be sent to Bardanes, and four others 
given to Apollonius, together with provisions and a 
guide to the Brahmans. He offers him besides gold 
and jewels and linen garments ; the gold Apollonius 
refuses, but he accepts the linen garments because they 
are like the old genuine Attic cloak, and he picks out 
besides one jewel, because of its mystic and divine 

^ Elphinstone {ut supra, I, 40) speaks of white camels as 
rare. 



APOLLONIUS OF TYANA. 25 

properties. He receives also a letter for larchas,^ to 
this effect : — " The King Phraotes to the Master larchas 
and the wise men with him, greeting: Apollonius, a 
very wise man, thinks you wiser than himself, and has 
travelled hither to learn your doctrine. Send him back 
knowing all you know. Your lessons will not be lost, 
for he speaks better, and has a better memory than any 
man I ever knew. Shew him. Father larchas, the 
throne on which I sat when you gave me the kingdom. 
His followers are worthy of all praise, if only for 
submitting to such a man. Farewell." 

They leave Taxila, and after two days' journey, 
reach the plain, where Porus is said to have en- 
countered Alexander. There they saw a triumphal 
arch serving as a pediment to a statue of Alexander in 
a four-horse chariot, as he appeared on the Issus. A 
little farther on, they came upon two other arches, on 
one of which was Alexander, on the other Porus — the 
one saluting, the other in an attitude of submission. 

Having passed the Hydraotis,^^ they pursued their 
way through several countries^^ to the Hyphasis. 
Thirty stadia from the river, they saw : the altars Alex- 
ander had built there " To Father Ammon and Brother 
Hercules, to the Providence Minerva and Olympian 
Jove, and to the Samo-Thracian Cabiri and the Indian 
Sun and Brother Apollo :" and also a bronze pillar with 
this inscription : — " Here Alexander halted." And this 

^ Probably, suggests Wilford, a corruption from Eac'hyas.— 
As. Res., ix, 41. 

^ Hydraotis, in Strabo Hyarotis, Sanskrit Iravati; Hyphasis, 
Vipasa. —Vishnu Purana, p. 181. 

^ Strabo gives the number as nine. — xv, I, 3, 33. 



26 TRAVELS OF 

pillar Philostratus conjectures was raised by the Indians 
in joy at the return homeward of Alexander. 

In reference to the Hyphasis and its marvels, we are 
told that it is navigable at its very source, in a plain ; 
but that lower down alternate ridges of rock impede 
its course, and cause eddies which render navigation 
impossible. It is about as broad as the Ister, the 
largest of our European rivers, and the same sort of 
trees grow upon its banks. From these trees the people 
obtain an unguent with which if the marriage guests 
neglect to anoint the bride and bridegroom, the marriage 
rite is thought informal and not pleasing to Venus. To 
Venus indeed its groves are dedicated, as also a fish found 
here only, the peacock, so called from its cserulean crest, 
spotted scales, and golden tail, which it can open out at, 
its pleasure. In this river is also found a sort of white, 
worm, the property of the king, which is melted into 
an oil so inflammable, that nothing but glass will hold 
it. This oil is used in sieges, and when thrown on the 
battlements, it burns so fiercely, that its fire, so far as 
yet known, is inextinguishable.^^ 

In the marshes they catch wild asses with a horn on 
their foreheads,^^ with which they fight, bull-fashion. 
From this horn is made a cup of such virtue that if 



67 This worm is mentioned and described by Ctesias, but he 
places it in the Indus.— Frag. Ctes., ed. Didot, 27, p. 85. 

® This ass and its horn, with some slight difference, are also in 
Gtesias {ih., p. 25). Wilson sees in this horned ass two animals 
" rolled into one," the gorkhar, or wild horse, found north of the 
Hindu -Koh, and the rhinoceros, whose horn has to this day in the 
East a high reputation as an antidote. — Notes on Ctesias, 63 
and 49. 



APOLLONIUS OF TYANA. 27 

any one drinks out of it, he need for that day fear no 
sickness, nor wounds, nor fire, nor poison. It belongs 
to the king, who also reserves to himself the right of 
hunting the ass. Apollonius saw the animal, and 
admired it ; but when Damis asked him if he could 
believe all that was said of the virtue of the cup, he 
answered, " Yes, when I see any Indian king immortal." 
Here they met with a woman black to her breasts, 
white from her breasts downwards. She was sacred to 
the Indian Venus, and to this goddess piebald women 
are sacred from their birth, as to Apis among the 
Egjrptians. Here they crossed that spur of the Cau- 
casus which stretches down towards the Eed Sea ; it 
was full of all sorts of aromatic plants. The headlands 
produced cinnamon,^^ a shrub very like a young vine 
(yeoL^ K\i]/jLa<Tt), and so grateful to goats, that if you 
hold it in your hands they will follow you and whine 
after you like dogs. On the cliffs grow the tall, and all 
other sorts of, frankincense, and pepper-trees. The 
pepper-tree resembles the dyvo'^ both in its leaves and 
the clustered form of its fruit. It grows on precipices 
inaccessible to man, but frequented by apes, which, as 
they gather for them the pepper-fruit, the Indians make 
much of and protect with arms and dogs against the 
lion ; for the lion will lie in wait for the ape, and eat 
its flesh as medicine when he is sick, and as food when 
he is old and no longer able to hunt the stag and wild 
boar. The pepper harvest is gathered in this way : — 
Directly under the cliffs where the peppers grow, the 

6» Strabo, xv, I, 22, but in the south of India. I believe it is 
indigenous to Ceylon, and is not found in India at all. 



SB TRAVELS OF 

people dig small trenches into which they throw as 
something worthless the fruit of the neighbouring 
trees.70 The monkeys from the heights watch them, 
and as soon as it is night, begin like them to tear the 
clustered fruits from the pepper, and like them to fling 
it into the trenches. In the morning the people come 
back and carry off the pepper, which they thus obtain 
without any labour. 

On the other side of the mountain was a large plain 
— the largest in India, being fifteen days' journey to the 
Ganges, and eighteeen days' to the Eed Sea. It was 
intersected with dykes running in different directions, 
and communicating with the Ganges, and serving the 
double purpose of landmarks and canals for irrigation. 
The land here is the best in India, black and very 
productive ; its wheat stalks are like reeds,'^^ and its 
beans three times as large as the Egyptian ; its sesame 
and millet are also extraordinarily fine. Here, too, 

'0 Strabo {ih., § 29) describes a similar trick, by means of which 
the people catch the monkeys ; and Lane observes, " I have my- 
self seen paintings in ancient Egyptian tombs representing the 
mode of gathering fruit by means of tame monkeys" (Arab. Nights, 
III, p. 106, and Wilkinson, An. Egypt., II, 150). But without gain- 
saying the fact that monkeys may be taught to pick fruit, all I 
have seen of them confirms Waterton's observation, that the 
monkey never throws, only lets fall. 

■^1 Elphinstone, describing this bank of the Hyphasis, tells only 
of sand-hills, and hard clay, and tufts of grass, and little bushes 
of rue. Of the right bank, however, he says : " There were 
so many large and deep watercourses throughout the journey, 
that, judging from them alone, the country must be highly culti- 
vated."— Introd. Burnes, too, observes of Balkh : "The crops 
are good, and the wheat stalks grow as high as in England, and 
do not present the stunted stubble of India." — Ut sup,, II, 206. 



APOLLOXIUS OF TYANA. 29 

grow those nuts, which for their rarity and size are, as 
a sort of curiosity, often found in Greek temples. The 
grapes of the country however are small, like the 
Lydian and Maeonian, and with an agreeable bouquet 

"when gathered (ra? 8e a/^TreXoi;? Trorcfiov^ re Kat 

avOoafiia^ ofiov tm airoTpvyav.) A tree is also found 
here like the laurel but with a fruit like a large pome- 
granate, within the husk of which is an apple of the 
colour of a fine hyacinth, and the very best flavoured 
fruit they ever ateJ^ 

As they came down the mountain, they witnessed a 
dragon-hunt. India, its marshes, plains, and mountains, 
are full of dragons."^^ Of these they tell us that the 
marsh-dragon is thirty cubits long, sluggish, and with- 
out a crest ; the male very like the female (aXX! eivai 
rai^ BpaKaivaL<; ofioioc). Its back is black, and it has 
fewer scales than the other kinds. Homer, when he 
speaks of the dragon at the fount in Aulis as of blood- 
red back, describes the marsh-dragon better than the 
other poets, who make the Nemsean dragon crested ; for 
crested you wiU hardly find any marsh-dragon. 

The plain and hill-dragons are superior to, and larger 
than, the marsh kind. They move along more swiftly 



72 Can this be the purple mangosteen, such as it might be de- 
scribed by those who only knew of it from hearsay ? 

" Almost all that is here said of serpents will be found in Pliny 
(viii, 11, 13) ; their size, though scarcely so large as those of Philo- 
Btratus, is noticed by Onesicritus and Nearchus (Frag. Hist. Alex., 
pp. 50 and 105, Didot) ; their beards by -^lian (xi, c. 2G) ; the 
beard and the stone in their heads, with some difference (the 
stones are avToy\v<poi), by Tzetzes from Poseidippus.— Chil., vii, 
653, 669 J the magic power of their eyes, by Lucan (vii, 657). 



30 TRAVELS OF 

than the swiftest rivers, and nothing can escape them. 
They are crested ; and though in the young the crest is 
small [fjuirpiov), when they are full-grown, it rises to a 
great height. They are of a fiery colour, with serrated 
backs, and bearded ; their necks are erect, and their 
scales shine like silver. The pupils of their eyes are a 
fiery stone of wonderful and mystic properties. They 
are hunted for the sake of their eyes, skin, and teeth. 
A dragon of this kind will sometimes attack an ele- 
phant f* both then perish, and are a "find" for the 
huntsmen. They resemble the largest fish, but are 
more lithe and active ; their teeth are hard as those of 
the whale. 

The mountain dragons are larger than those of the 
plain, and with a fiercer look ; their scales are golden, 
their beard too, which hangs in clusters ; they glide on 
the earth with a sound as of brass ; their fiery crests 
throw out a light brighter than that of a torch. They 
overpower the elephant, but become themselves the 
prey of the Indian. They are killed in this fashion. 
The Indians spread out before the serpent's hiding- 
place a scarlet carpet enwrought with golden characters, 
upon which, should the dragon chance to rest his head, 
he is charmed to sleep. They then, with incantations,^^ 
call him out of his hole ; and if everything goes well — 
for often he gets the better of them and their " gramary" 



'* This is said of the Ceylon elephants and serpents in the Chili- 
ads of Tzetzes from Poseidippus, vii, 212. 

75 The snake charmer still exists in India. Bochart (Hierozo., 
cvi. III, II, V.) gives all the passages in ancient authors bearing on 
the subject. 



APOLLONIUS OF TYANA. 31 

— as soon as with outstretched neck he is lulled in 
magic sleep, they rush on him with hatchets and cut 
off his head, and extract from it bright-coloured stones/^ 
flashing with every hue, and of powers wonderful as 
those of Gyges' ring. These dragons are also found in 
the mountains bordering on the Eed Sea. They are said 
to live to an incredible age, but of this nothing sure 
is known. 

At the foot of the mountain was situated Paraka, a 
very large city. Its inhabitants are, from their youthj 
trained to hunt the dragon, and it is full of their trophies 
— ^the heads of dragons. They eat the hearts and livers, 
and in this way, as was proved by Apollonius him self, ^^ 
they acquire a knowledge of the language and thoughts 
of animals. 

Proceeding onwards, our travellers hear the sound of 
a shepherd's pipe,"^^ and presently see a herd of white 
stags grazing. The Indians keep them for their milk,^^ 
which is very nourishing. 

Thence, after a four days' journey through a fertile 

''s Moor's Oriental Fragments, pp. 80-5, gives an account of the 
snake stones, "of a dark hue, though not always of the same colour, 
and about the size of a tamarind stone", and describes the modes 
by which the snake charmer compels the snake to disgorge them. 
The pretensions of the snake charmer are pretty well disposed of 
by Professor Owen in a paper on snake charming in Blackwood, 
Feb. 1872. 

77 At Ephesus (1. iv, c. 3), where he displayed his knowledge of 
the language of spaiTows. 

■^ Strabo {ut sup., c. 22) says, they have no musical instruments 
besides cymbals, drums, and KpdraKoi (rattles, castanets ?). 

79 «« The milk of any forest beast, except the buffalo, must be 
carefully shunned." — Menu, v. 11. 



32 TRAVELS OF 

and well-cultivated country, they approached the strong- 
hold of the Sophoi ; and now their guide ordered his 
camel to kneel, and jumped down sweating with fear. 
Then Apollonius knew where they were, and laughed 
at the Indian and bade him again mount his camel. 
The fact is, the near neighbourhood of the Sophoi 
frightened him ; and, indeed, the people fear them more 
than the king ; for the king consults them as he would 
an oracle, and does nothing without their advice and 
concurrence.^^ 

When they had reached a village, not the eighth of a 
mile from the hill of the Sophoi, and were preparing to 
put up there, they perceived a young man running to- 
wards them. He was the very blackest Indian they 
had yet seen, with a bright spot, crescent-shaped, be- 
tween his brows, much such a mark as Menon, the 
Ethiopian foster-child of the sophist Herod, had in his 
youth. He bore a golden anchor, which, as symbolical 
of holding fast, the Indians have made their caduceus. 

When the messenger coming up addressed Apollonius 
in Greek, as the villagers also spoke Greek, his com- 
panions were not much surprised; but when he ad- 
dressed Apollonius by name, they were struck with 
astonishment, all but Apollonius, who, now full of con- 
fidence, looking at Damis, said, "The men we have come 
to visit are wise indeed ; they know the future :" and 
then turning to the Indian, he asked him what he should 
do, for he wished to converse with the Sophoi imme- 

80 Vide Hist. Frag. II, 438, on a fragment of Megasthenes and 
Bardesanes on Brahmans and Samanceans in Porphyry, de Absti- 
nent., 1. iv, c. 17, ad calcem. 



APOLLONIUS OF TYANA. 33 

diately. The man answered, " Leave your people here, 
but come you, just as you are, so they (aurot) request." 
This " they" seemed to ApoUonius quite Pythagorean, 
and he followed the messenger rejoicing. 

♦The hill of the Sophoi^^ rose sheer up from the plain, 
and was about as high as the Acropolis at Athens. It 
was besides fortified by a goodly belt of rock, on which 
you might trace the impressions of hoofs, and beards, 
and faces, and what seemed the backs of falling men. 
And they heard that when Bacchus and Hercules at- 
tempted the place, Bacchus ordered his Pans, as able to 
shake it to its foundation (Uavovf; 7r/309 tov creiafjiov), to 
storm it : but thunderstruck by the Sophoi, they fell 
headlong one upon the other and so left these marks 
upon the stones. They said also, that about and around 
this hill a cloud hung within which the Sophoi dwelt 
visible and invisible^^ at will, and that their stronghold 
was without gates, so that it could not be called either 
enclosed or open. 

ApoUonius and his guide ascended the hill on the 
south side. He saw a well some twenty-four feet about.^-^ 
Over its mouth hung a dark vapour which rose^* as the 

s^ Otesias tells of a sacred place in an uninhabited part of the 
country, which the Indians honour in the name of the sun and 
the moon ; it is fifteen days' journey from the Sardian mountains 
— TOV opovi rrjs 2ap5ou$, § 8, p. 81, ed. Didot. See also Eeinaud, who 
mentions that this castle of the Brahmans was known to the Arabs 
— not improbably throu<,'h Philostratus.— Mem. de I'lnde, p. 86. 

82 A somewhat similar power is ascribed to the Caraunas by 
Marco Polo, p. 33, u. s., and is employed to beguile Oswif. — Burnt 
Nial., c. xii, 1. 40. 

83 Opyviwu nrrapwv. 

^ " In the morning, vapours or clouds of smoke ascended from 

D 



34 TRAVELS OF 

heat of the day increased and at noon gave out all the 
colours of the rainbow. He was told that here the sub- 
soil was cinnabar ((TavZapd')(Lvr} yrj), and that the water 
of the well was sacred, and never used, and that all the 
neighbourhood swore by it. Near this place was a 
crater, which threw out a lead-coloured flame without 
smell or smoke, and which bubbled up with a volcanic 
matter that rose to its brim, but never overflowed : here 
the Indians purified themselves from all involuntary 
sins. The well, the Sophoi called the well of the test ; 
the crater, the fire of pardon.^^ Here were also seen 
tv\^o vessels of black stone — the urns of the winds and 
of the rain f^ and the one or the other is opened or shut 
just as wind or rain is wanted or otherwise. Here too 
they found statues of the most ancient Greek gods, 
and worshipped in the Greek manner ; of the Poliau 
Minerva, and of Bacchus, and of the Delian and Amy- 
clsean Apollo.^'' The Sophoi look upon their stronghold 
as the very navel of India. They here worship fire ob- 

the wells till the atmosphere was suflBciently heated to hide it/' 
between the Eavi and the Chenab — Burnes, II, 38. 

^ With the well of the text compare : the test fountain in 
Ctesiasj its water hardens into a cheese-like substance, which 
when rubbed into a powder and mixed with water, and then ad- 
ministered to suspected criminals, makes them tell all they ever 
did (§ 14, p. 82) : also the water of probation mentioned by Por- 
phyry. With the fire of pardon compare that other water, in some 
cave temple seemingly, which purified from voluntary and in- 
Toluntary oflPences (Porphyry de Styge). 

86 Olearius, h. 1., suggests that these may have been barometers; 
and then Damis, like the astronomer in Rasselas, merely confounds 
the power of foretelling with the power of producing. 

^7 n 6avfia<rrT]s <pLKoao(f>ias Si rjv Ivdoi deovs EWtjvikovs rrpojKvvovai. — 
Plutarch de Fortuna Alex. Op. Var., I, p. 585. 



APOLLONIUS OF TYANA. 3o 

tained from tlie sun's rays, and at noon daily liyirin its 
praise. 

Apollonius, in an address to the Egyptians, somewliat 
enigmatically describes the life of the Sophoi : — "I have 
seen," he says, " Brahmans who dwell on the earth, and 
yet not on the earth ; in places fortified, and yet with- 
out walls; and who possess nothing, and yet all things." 
According to Damis they used the earth as a couch, but 
first strewed it with choice grasses: they walked too 
the air^^ — Damis himself saw them — and this not to 
excite wonder — all ostentation is abhorrent to their 
nature, — but in imitation of and as a more fitting ser- 
vice to the sun. He saw too the fire which they drew 
down from the sun's rays, — and which though it flamed 
on no altar and was confined by no hearth, took shape 
and body (crw/iaroef-Se?) and floated in mid-air,^^ where 
spite of the darkness, under the charm of their hymned 
praises^^ it stayed unchanged. As in the night they 
worshipped this fire, so in the day they worshipped the 
sun and besought it to order the seasons for India's 
good. In this way is to be understood ApoUonius's 
first assertion : " The Brahmans live on the earth, and 
yet not on the earth." His second, Damis refers to that 



88 Atto ttjs 77)s es irrix^is dvo (Pkilos., Ill, c. 15), two cubits from 
the ground, no great height, but — ce n'est que le premier pouce 
qui coute. 

89 Sir C. Napier says, of Trukkee, *' On reaching the top, where 
we remained during the night, every man's bayonet had a bright 
flame on the point. A like appearance had also been observed 
going from Ooch to Shapoor." — Life, III, 272. May not the night 
light of the Sophoi be referred to some similar phenomenon ? 

^ Compare with c. xv the xxxiii. III. 



36 TRAVELS OF 

covering of clouds which they draw over themselves at 
pleasure, and which no rain can penetrate. His third, 
to those fountains which bubble up for his Bacchanals 
when Bacchus shakes the earth and them, and from 
which the Indians themselves drink and give to others 
to drink. Well therefore may ApoUonius say, that 
men, who at a moment's notice and without preparation 
can get whatever they want, possess nothing and yet 
all things.^^ They wear their hair long,^^ like the old 
Macedonians, and on their head a white mitre.^^ They 
go bare-foot ; and their coats have no sleeves, and are 
of wild cotton, of an oily nature, and white as Pamphy- 
lian wool, but softer.^* Of this cotton the sacred vest- 
ments are made ; and the earth refuses to give it up if 



^^ Compare with these fountains those of milk, wine, etc., of 
which Calanus speaks in his interview with Onesicritus (Strabo, 
ut sup., § 64); and that happy India, a real pays de Cocagne, 
which Dio Chrysostom ironically describes in Celsenis Phrygise 
Orat., XXXV, II, p. 70. 

92 Hardy, Eastern Monachism (p. 112), by which it would seem 
that the Brahmans wear long hair ; the Buddhist priest, on the 
other hand, shaves his head; so also Bardesanes describes the 
newly-elected Samansean; ^vpa/xevos Se rov aiD/xaros ra irepiTra 
Aa/xj8ai/6t aroX-qv aTreiai re rrpos ^afiavaiovs. — Porphyry, ut supra. 

93 Still worn by some of the mountain tribes about Cabool. 
Elphinstone says of the Bikaneers, "they wear loose clothes of 
white cotton, and a remarkable turban which rises high over the 
head."— Cabool, I, 18. 

94 Hierocles speaks of the Brahman garments as made from a 
soft and hairy (S6piw:;Ta)5r?) filament obtained from stones (asbestos). 
— Frag. Hist., iv, p. 430. In the Mahawanso among the presents 
of Asoka to Dewananpiatisso, are "hand-towels cleansed by being 
passed through the fire," p. 70. Burnes says of the Nawab of 
Cabool, he "produced some asbestos, here called cotton-stone, 
lound near Jelalabad" (ii, 138) ; see also Pliny, xix. 4. 



APOLLONIUS OF TYANA. 37 

any but tliemselVes attempt to gather it. They carry a 
stick,^^ and wear a ring, both of infinite and magic 
power. 

Apollonius found the Sophoi seated on brazen stools, 
their chief, larchas, on a raised throne of bronze orna- 
mented with golden images. They saluted him with 
their hands, but larchas welcomed him in Greek, asked 
him for the King's letter, and added, that it wanted a 8. 
As soon as he had read it, he asked Apollonius, " AVhat 
do you think of us?" "Oh!" said Apollonius, "the 
very journey I have undertaken — and I am the first of 
my countrymen who has undertaken it — answers that 
question." " In what, then," enquired larchas, " do you 
think us wiser than you ?" " I think your views wiser, 
more divine," answered Apollonius ; " and should I find 
that you know no more than I, this at least I shall have 
learned-^that I have nothing more to learn." "Well," 
said the Indian, " other people usually ask of those who 
visit them, whence they come and who they are ; but 
we, as a first proof of our knowledge, show strangers 
that we know them ;" and so saying, he told Apollonius 
who his father was, who his mother, all that happened 
to him at ^gae, and how Damis joined him, and what 
they had said and done on the journey; and this so 
distinctly and fluently, that he might have been a 
companion of their route. Apollonius, greatly aston- 
ished, asked him how he knew all this. "In this 
knowledge," he answered, " you are not wholly wanting, 
and where you are deficient we wiU instruct you,*^ for 

^5 " The first three classes ought to carry staves." — Menu, i, 45; 
** the priest's should reach to his hair." — lb., 46. 
^ When Damis speaks of his knowledge of languages to Apollo- 



38 TKAVELS OF 

we think it not well to keep secret what is so worthy 
of being known, especially from you, ApoUonius, — a 
man of most excellent memory. And Memory, you 
must know, is of the Gods the one we most honour. 
" But how do you know my nature ?" asked ApoUonius. 
" We," he answered, " see into the very soul, tracing out 
its qualities by a thousand signs. But as midday is at 
hand,^^ let us to our devotions, in which you also may, 

nius, ApoUonius merely observes that he himself understands all 
languages, and that without having learned them ; and more, that 
he knows not only what men speak, but their secret thoughts 
(L. I., c. xix). But as in India he is accompanied by, and frequently 
makes use of an interpreter; this pretension of his has, from the 
time of Easebius (in Hieroclem, xiv), been frequently ridiculed as 
an idle boast. Philostratus, however, was too practised a writer 
to have left his hero open to such a charge. His faults are of 
another kind. His facts and statements too often, and with a 
certain air of design, confirm and illustrate each other : thus, 
with regard to this very power claimed by ApoUonius, observe, 
that he professes not to speak, but to know aU languages and 
men's thoughts — a difference intelligible to all who are familiar 
with the alleged facts of mesmerism ; and look at him in his first 
interview with Phraotes ; watch him listening to, and under- 
standing the talk of the king and the sages, and only then asking 
larchas to interpret for him when he would himself speak. Ob- 
serve, also, that larchas admits only to a certain extent the power 
of ApoUonius, and remember his surprise when he finds that 
Phraotes knows and speaks Greek. 

^ " At sunrise, at noon, and at sunset, let the Brahman go to 
the waters and bathe." — Menu, vi, 22. " Sunrise and sunset are 
the hours when, having made his ablution, he repeats the text 
which he ought to repeat." — ii, 222. From the Vishnu Purana, 
however, it seems the Eichas ( the hymns of the Eig-veda) shine 
in the morning, the prayers of the Yajush at noon, and portions of 
the Saman in the afternoon. — p. 235. Bardesanes, ut supra, rov 
roivvv xpovov ttjs r^fxepas Kot ttjj pvktos rov irKiKrrov eis vfivovs twv Becav 



APOLLONIUS OF TYANA. 39 

if you will, take part." Tliey then adjourned to tlie 
bath, a spring like that of Dircae in Boeotia as Damis 
says who afterwards saw Dircae. They first took off 
their clothes, and then anointed their heads with an 
uncruent which made their bodies run down with sweat, 
and so jumped into the w^ater. After they had well 
bathed they put garlands on their heads and proceeded to 
the temple, intent on their hymn. There standing round 
in a circle with larch as as their leader they beat the 
ground with their staves, till bellying like a wave it 
sent them up into the air about two cubits ; and then 
they sang a hymn, very like the Psean of Sopliocles 
sung at Athens to ^sculapius. When they had again 
come down to the earth and had performed their sacred 
duties, larchas called the youth with the anchor, and 
bade him take care of Apollonius's companions ; and he 
in a shorter space of time than the swiftest birds, was 
gone and was back again, and told larchas, — " I have 
taken care of them." 

Apollonius was then placed on the throne of Phraotes, 
and larchas bade him question them on any matter he 
pleased, for he was now among men who knew all 
things. Apollonius therefore asked, as though it was of 
all knowledge the most difficult, " Whether the Sophoi 
knew themselves ?" But larchas answered quite con- 
trary to his expectation, that they knew all things, be- 
cause they first knew themselves. That, without this 
first and elementary knowledge, no one could be ad- 
mitted to their philosophy. Apollonius, remembering 
his conversation with Phraotes and the examination 
they had been obliged to undergo, assented to this. 



40 TRAVELS OF 

more especially as lie felt the truth of the observation 
in himself He then asked " What opinion they held 
of themselves ? " and was told, " that they held them- 
selves to be gods, because they were good men." Apol- 
lonius then enquired about the soul, and, when he 
heard that they held the opinions of Pythagoras, he 
further asked, whether, as Pythagoras remembered him- 
self as Euphorbus, so larchas could speak of some one 
of his previous lives, either as Greek or Trojan, or 
other man ? larchas, first reproving the Greeks for the 
reverence they pay to the Trojan heroes and to Achilles 
as the greatest of them, to the neglect of better men, 
Greek, Egyptian, and Indian, related : how years long 
ago he had been one Ganges king of the Indian people, 
to whom the Ethiopians then Indians were subject: 
how this Ganges, ten cubits in stature and the most 
comely of men, built many cities and drove back the 
Scythians who invaded his territories : and how, though 
robbed of his wife by the then king of Phraotes^s coun- 
try, he had unlike Achilles kept sacred his alliance 
with him : how too he had rendered his father the 
Ganges^^ river propitious to India, by inducing it to 
keep within its banks and to divert its course to the 
Ked Sea -} how, notwithstanding aU this, the Ethiopians 
murdered him, and were driven by the hate of the In- 

98 This is a favourite idea of Philostratus, i. e. the Heroica, II, 
V, 677, ed. 01ea.rii, fol. 

99 The Ganges is a goddess. — Vishnu Purana. 

1 Wilford refers this to the legend of Bhagiratha, *' who led the 
Ganges to the ocean, tracing with the wheels of his chariot two 
furrows, which were to be the limits of her encroachments." — As. 
Ees., viii, 298. 



APOLLONIUS OF TYAXA. 41 

dians and the now sterile earth and the abortive births 
of their wives to leave their native land : and li^^w, pur- 
sued by his ghost, and still suffering the same ills, they 
wandered from place to place, till having at length pun- 
ished his murderers they settled in that part of Africa 
from them called Ethiopia. He told too, how Ganges 
had thrust seven adamantine swords deep into the 
ground in some unknown spot, and how when the gods 
without indicating it ordered that on that spot a sacri- 
fice should be offered, he then a child of four years old 
immediately pointed it out.^ But ceasing to speak of 
himself, he directed ApoUonius's attention to a youth 
of about twenty, and he described him as patient under 
all suffering and by nature especially fitted for philo- 
sophy, but beyond measure averse to it ; and his aver- 
sion was attributed to the ill treatment and injustice he 
had received from Ulysses and Homer in a former life. 
He had been Palamedes. 

While they were thus talking, a messenger announced 
the king's approach and that he would arrive towards 
evening, and came to consult with them on his private 
affairs. larchas answered that he should be welcome, 
and that he would leave them a better man for having 
known " this Greek." He then resumed his conversa- 
tion with ApoUonius, and asked him to tell something 
of his previous existence. ApoUonius excuses himself, 
because as it was undistinguished he did not care to 
remember it. " But surely," observed larchas, " to be 

2 So the sword of Mars found by a shepherd and presented to 
Attila constituted him "totius mundi principem." — Jornandes, 



42 TRAVELS OF 

the pilot of an Egyptian ship is no such ignoble occu- 
pation, and a pilot I see you once were." " True," re- 
plied Apollonius, " but an office which should be on a 
par with that of the statesman or the general has by 
the fault of sailors themselves become contemptible and 
degraded. Besides my very best act in that life no one 
deemed worthy even of praise." "And what was that?" 
asked larchas. " Was it the doubling with slackened 
sail Malea and Sunium, or the carefully observing the 
course of the wdnds, or the carrying your ship over the 
reefs and swell of the Euboean coast ?" " Well/' said 
Apollonius, " if I must speak of my sailor life, I will tell 
you of something I did then which I think was wise 
and honest. In those days pirates infested the Phoe- 
nician Sea. And some of their spies knowing that my 
ship was richly laden came to me and sounded me, and 
asked me what would be my share of the freight. I 
told them a thousand drachmas, for we were four pilots. 
' And what sort of a home have you V they asked. 'A hut 
on Pharos, where Proteus used to live,^^ I answered. 
* AVell,' they went on, ' would you like to change the sea 
for land — a hut for a house — to receive ten times the 
pay you look for, and rid yourself at the same time of the 
thousand ills of the tempestuous sea ?' ' Aye, that I 
would,' I said. They then told me who they were, and 
offered me ten thousand drachmas, and promised that 
neither myself nor any of my crew should suffer harm 

3 Homer, Odys., iv, 355, and frequently alluded to in Byzantine 
writers as vrjaov rriv Xeynftcprtv Tlpwrews. Pharos ubi Proteus cum 
Phocarum gregibus diversatum Homerus fabulatur inflatius. — 
Amin. Marcell., xx, 16, 10. 



APOLLONIUS OF TYANA. 43 

if I gave them an opportunity of taking my ship. So 
we agreed that I should set sail in the night, but lie-to 
under the promontory ; and that the pirates, who w^ere 
at anchor on the other side, should then run out and 
seize my ship and cargo. All this took place in a 
temple, and I made them swear to fulfil their promises ; 
while I agreed on my part to do as they wished. But 
instead of lying-to I made sail for the open sea and so 
got ofi'." " And this," observed larchas, " you think an 
act of justice ?" " Yes," said ApoUonius, " and of hu- 
manity ; for to save the lives of my men, and the pro- 
perty of my employers, and to be above a bribe, though 
a sailor, 1 hold to be a proof of many virtues." 

larchas smiled, and remarked : " You, Greeks, seem 
to think that not to do wrong is to be just. Only the 
other day, an Egyptian told us of the Eoman procon- 
suls : how, though knowing nothing of the people they 
were to govern, they entered their provinces with naked 
axes ; and of the people : how they praised their go- 
vernors if they only were not venal, just like slave- 
dealers who to vaunt their wares warrant that their 
Carians are not thieves ! Your poets too scarcely allow 
you to be just and good. For Minos the most cruel of 
men and who with his fleets enslaved the neighbouring 
peoples, they honour with the sceptre of justice as the 
judge of the dead. But Tantalus, a good man, who 
made his friends partakers of immortality, they deprive 
of food and drink." And he pointed to a statue on the 
left inscribed " Tantalus." It was four cubits high, and 
of a man of about fifty, dressed in the Argolic fashion 
with a Thessalian chlamys. He was drinking from a 



44 TPtAVELS OF 

cup as large as would suffice for a tliirsty man, and a 
pure drauglit bubbled up in it without overflowing. 

Their conversation was here interrupted by the noise 
and tumult in the village occasioned by the king's 
arrival ; and larchas angrily observed, " Had it been 
Phraotes, not the mysteries had been more quiet." 
ApoUonius, seeing no preparations made, inquired whe- 
ther they intended offering the king a banquet ? " Aye, 
and a rich one, for we have plenty of everything here," 
they said, " and he is a gross feeder. But we allow no 
animal food, only sweetmeats, roots, and fruits such as 
India and the season afford. But here he comes." The 
king, glittering with gold and jewels, now approached. 
Damis was not present at this interview, for he spent 
the whole of the day in the village, but Apollonius 
gave him an account of it which he wrote in his diary. 
He says that the king approached with outstretched 
hands as a suppliant, and that the sages from their 
seats nodded as if granting his petition, at which he 
rejoiced greatly as at the oracle of a god ; but of his 
son and brother they took no more notice than of the 
slaves who accompanied him. larchas then rose and 
asked him if he would eat. The king assented, and four 
tripods like those in Homer's Oljrmpus rolled them- 
selves in, followed by bronze cup-bearers. The earth 
strewed itself with grass, softer than any couch ; and 
sweets and bread, fruits and vegetables, all excellently 
well prepared, moved up and down in order before the 
guests. Of the tripods two flowed with wine, two with 
water hot and cold. The cups, each large enough for 
four thirsty souls, and the wine-coolers, were each one of 



APOLLONIUS OF TYANA. 45 

a single stone, and of a stone in Greece so precious as to 
be set in rings and necklaces. The bronze cup-bearers 
poured out the wine and water in due proportions, as 
usual in drinking bouts.^ They all lay down to the 
feast, the king with the rest, for no place of honour was 
assigned him. 

In the course of the dinner larchas said to the king, 
''I pledge you the health of this man," pointing to 
Apollonius, and with his hand signifying that he was a 
just and divine man. On this the king observed, " I 
understand that he, and some others who have put up 
in the village, are friends of Phraotes." " You under- 
stand rightly," said larchas, ''for even here he is 
Phraotes' guest." " But what are his pursuits ? " asked 
the king. "Those of Phraotes," answered larchas. 
" Worthless guest worthless pursuits ! they prevent 
even Phraotes from becoming a man indeed," said the 
king. " Speali more modestly of pliilosophy and Phra- 
otes," observed larchas, — "this language does not be- 
come your age." Here Apollonius, through larchas, 
inquired of the king " what advantage he derived from 
not being a philosopher?" "This, that I possess all 
virtue and am one with the sun," answered the king. 
Apollonius : " You would not think thus if you were a 
philosopher." The king: "Well friend as you are a 
philosopher, tell us what you think of yourself." Apol- 
lonius : " That I am a good man so long as I. am a 
philosopher." The king : " By the sun, you come here 
full of Phraotes." Apollonius : " Thank heaven then, 

4 So Marco Polo's description of the feasts of the great Khan, 
borrowed probably from Apollonius, c. Jxxv, pp. 71-9, French ed. 



46 TEAVELS OF 

that T have not travelled in vain ; and if you could see 
Phraotes, you would say he was full of me. He washed 
to write to you about me, but when he told me that 
you were a good man, I bade him not take that trouble, 
for I had brought no letter to him." When tlie king 
heard that Phraotes had spoken well of him, he was 
pacified and forgot his suspicions ; and in a gentle tone 
said: "Welcome, best friend." "Welcome you," said 
Apollonius, " one would think you had but just come 
in." " What brought you to this place ? " asked the 
king. " The Gods and these wise inen,'^ answered 
Apollonius. " But tell me stranger, what do the Greeks 
say of me ? " he next inquired. " Just what you say of 
them,'^ said Apollonius. " But that is just nothing," he 
replied. "I will tell them so, and they wdll crown you at 
the Olympic games,^' Apollonius observed. Then turning 
to larchas : " Let us leave this drunken fool to himself. 
But why pray do you pay no attention to his son and 
brother, and do not admit them to your table ?" "Be- 
cause," answered larchas, " they may one day rule, and 
by slighting them we teach them not to slight others." 
Apollonius then perceiving that the number of the 
Soplioi was eighteen, observed to larchas that it w^as 
not a square number, nor indeed a number at all 
honoured or distinguished. larchas in answer, told him 
that they paid no attention to number, but esteemed 
virtue only ; he added, that the college wdien his grand- 
father entered it consisted of eighty-seven Sophoi, and 
that his grandfather then found himself its youngest, 
and eventually in the one hundred and thirtieth^ year 
5 Ibn Batuta speaks of Hindus 120, 130, and 140 years of age. 



APOLLONIUS OF TYANA. 47 

of liis age, its only surviving member ; that no eligible 
candidate having in all that time offered himself for 
admission, he remained four years without a colleague : 
and that when he then received from the Egyptians 
congratulations on his alone occupying the seat of 
wisdom, he begged them not to reproach India with the 
small number of its wise men. larchas then went on 
to blame the Elians, in that as he had heard from the 
Egyptians, they elected the Olympic dikasts by lot, and 
thus left to chance what should be the reward of merit ; 
and that they always elected the same number, — never 
more, never less ; and that they thus sometimes ex- 
cluded good men and sometimes were obliged to choose 
bad ones. Better, he said, it had been if the Elians had 
allowed the number of the dikasts to vary with circum- 
stances, but had always required in them the same 
qualifications. 

The king here rudely interrupted them, and expressed 
his dislike of the Greeks, and spoke of the Athenians 
as the slaves of Xerxes ; ApoUonius turning to him 
asked if he had any slaves of his own ; " Twenty thou- 
sand," he answered, " and born in my house. "^ " Well, 
then," said ApoUonius (always through larchas), " as 
you do not run away from them, but they from you, so 
Xerxes fled like a worthless slave from before the 
Athenians when he had been conquered at Salamis." 

Burnes of one at Cabul of 114, apparently with all his faculties 
about him.— II, 109. 

6 According to Megasthenes, civai Se kuI toSc n^ya cv ttj li'dwv yrj 
vavras lv5uvs (ifol f\(v6e^)ovs. — Ai'rian, Indica, xi. ovSe IvSois aWos 
ZovKos eo-Tt. Onesicritus limits this to the subjects of Musicanus. 
— Strabo, ut sup., § 54-. 



48 TRAVELS OF 

" But surely," observed the king, " Xerxes, with his 
own hands set fire to Athens?" "Yes," said Apol- 
lonius, "hut how fearful was his punishment! He 
became a fugitive before those whom he had hoped to 
destroy ; and in his very flight was most unhappy : for 
had he died by the hands of the Greeks, what a tomb 
would they not have built for him ! what games not in- 
stituted in his memory ! — as knowing that they honoured 
themselves when they honoured those whom they had 
subdued." On this the king burst into tears, and 
excused himself, and attributed his prejudices against 
the Greeks to the tales and falsehoods of Egyptian 
travellers, who while they boasted of their nation as 
wise and holy and author of those laws relating to 
sacrifices and mysteries which obtain in Greece, 
described the Greeks as men of unsound judgement, 
the scum of men, (rvyK\vha<;, insolent and lawless, 
romancers, and miracle-mongers, poor, and parading 
their poverty not as something honourable but as an 
excuse for theft. "But now," he went on to say, "that I 
know them to be full of goodness and honour, I hold 
them as my friends, and as my friends praise them and 
wish them all the good I can. I will no longer give 
credit to these Egyptians." larchas here observed that 
though he had long seen that the Egyptians had the 
ear of the king, he had said nothing but waited till the 
king should meet with such a counsellor as Apollonius. 
Now however that you are better tauglit, let us", he con- 
cluded, "drink together the loving-cup of Tantalus and 
then to sleep : for we have business to transact to-night. 
I will however as occasion offers indoctrinate you in 



APOLLONIUS OF TYANA. 49 

Grecian learning, the fullest in the world. And so 
stooping to the cup he first drank and then handed it 
to the other guests ; and there was enough for all, for it 
bubbled up as if from a fountain. 

They lay down to rest, and arose at midnight, and 
aloft in the air hymned the praises of the sun's ray. 
The Sophoi then gave private audience to the king. 
'Next morning early, after the sacred rites, the king, for 
the law forbade his remaining more than one day at the 
college, retired to the village and vainly pressed Apol- 
lonius to visit him there. The Sophoi then sent forDamis, 
whom they admitted as a guest. The conversation now 
began ; and larchas discoursed on the world : how it is 
composed of five elements — water, fire, air, earth, and 
aether ;^ and how they are all co-ordinate, but that from 
aether the Gods, from air mortals, are generated ; how 
moreover the w^orld is an animal and hermaphrodite ; 
and how as hermaphrodite it reproduces by itself and 
of itself all creatures ; and how as intelligent it provides 
for their wants, and with scorching heats punishes their 
wrong-doing. And this world larchas further likened 
to one of those Egjrptian ships^ which navigate the 

7 Megasthenes (Strabo, ut sup., § 59) gives pretty nearly the 
same account of the Brahminical doctrines, that the world has a 
beginning, and will have an end ; that God, its ruler and creator, 
pervades it ; and that besides the four elements there is a fifth, 
aether ; and Alexander Polyhistor asserts that Pythagoras was a 
disciple of the Brahmans ; Frag. Hist., Ill, § 238, p. 239, and p. 
241 mentions aether as one of the Pythagorean elements. Also 
Aristotle de Mundo, II, from a note to Mas'udis Meadows of 
Gold, Or. Tr. Fund, p. 179. 

8 The boat among the Hindus is one of the types of the earth. 
— Wilford, As. Res., viii, 274 ; Von Bohlen quotes this passage to 

E 



50 TRAVELS OF 

Ked Sea. " By an old law, no galley is allowed tliere ; 
but only vessels round fore and aft (aToyyvXoi), fitted 
for trade. Well, these vessels the Egyptians have 
enlarged by building up their sides, and fitting them 
with several cabins f and they have manned them with 
pilots at the prow, seamen for the masts and sails, and 
marines as a guard against the barbarians; and over 
and above them all have set one pilot who rules and 
directs the rest. So in the world there is the first God, 
its creator; next him, the gods who rule its several 
parts — sung by the poets, as gods of rivers, groves, and 
streams: gods above the earth, and gods under the 
earth ; and perchance too below the eartli, but distinct 
from it, is a place terrible and deadly." Here, unable 
to contain himself, Damis cried out, in admiration: 
" Never could I have believed that any Indian was so 
thoroughly conversant with the Greek language, and 
could speak it with such fluency and elegance ! " 

A messenger now announced and introduced several 
Indian suppliants — a child possessed, a lame and blind 
man, etc., — all of whom were cured. 

larch as further initiated Apollonius, but not Damis, 
in astrology and divination and in those sacrifices and 
invocations in which the gods delight. He spoke of 
the divining power as raising man to an equality with 
the Delphian Apollo, and as requiring -a pure heart and 

prove that the Hindus had the knowledge of one God. — Das Alte 
Indian, i, 152. 

9 See Ibn Batoutah's description of a Chinese boat, iv, 92-3, 
and 350, and 64, pp. Of the ships employed in the Indian 
trade, Pliny " Omnibus annis navigatur sagittariorum cohortibua 
impositis, etenim Piratse nozime impestant." — Hist. Nat., vi, 26. 



APOLLOXIUS OF TYANA. 51 

a stainless life, and as therefore readily apprehensible 
by the aetherial soul of ApoUonius. He extolled it as 
a source of immense good to mankind, and referred to it 
the physician's art — for was not ^sculapius the son of 
Apollo ? and was it not through his oracles that he 
discovered the several remedies for diseases, herbs for 
wounds, etc. ? 

Then turning, in a pleasant way, to Damis, — " And 
you Assyrian," he said, " do you never foresee anything 
— ^you, the companion of such a man?" "Yes, by 
Jove," answered Damis, " matters that concern myself ; 
for when I first met with this ApoUonius, he seemed to 
me a man full of wisdom and gravity and modesty and 
patience ; and for his memory and great learning and 
love of learning I looked upon him as a sort of 
Daemon ; and I thought that if I kept with him, that 
instead of a simple and ignorant man I should become 
wise, — ^learned instead of a barbarian; and that if I 
followed him and studied with him I should see the 
Indians and see you; and that through his means I 
should live with the Greeks, a Greek. As to you then, 
you are occupied with great things, and think Delphi 
and Dodona or what you will. As for me, when Damis 
predicts he predicts for himself only like an old witch." 
At these words all the Sophoi laughed. 

ApoUonius enquired about the Martichora,^^ an 
animal the size of a lion, four-footed, with the head of 
a man, its tail long with thorns for hairs which it shoots 
out at those who pursue it; — about the golden foun- 

1" Ctesias, p. 80, § 7 ; Didot. 



52 TKAVELS OF 

tain^^ too ; and the men who use their feet for "ambrellas^ 
the sciapods.^^ Of the golden fountain and Martichora 
larch as had never heard ; but he told Apollonius of the 
Pentarba and showed him the stone and its effects. It 
is a wonderful gem about the size of a man's thumb- 
nail and is found in the earth at a depth of four 
fathoms ; but though it makes the ground to swell and 
crack, it can only be got at by the use of certain cere- 
monies and incantations. It is of a fiery colour and of 
extraordinary brilliancy, and of such power, that thrown 
into a stream it draws to it^^ and gathers round it all 
precious stones within a certain considerable range.^* 
The pigmies he said lived on the other side of the Ganges 
and under ground; but the Sciapods and Longheads were 
mere inventions of Scylax, He described also the gold- 
digging griffins ; that they were sacred to the Sun (his 
chariot is represented as drawn by them^^) about the 
size of lions,^^ but stronger because winged ; that their 

^1 Id., p. 73, § 4. Wilson, Notes on Ctesias, explains and ac- 
counts for these myths. 

12 Id., § 104 and 84. Among the people of India, from Hindu 
authority quoted by Wilford, are the Ecapada, one-footed. " Mo- 
nosceli singulis cruribus, eosdemque Sciapodas vocari," from 
Pliny (ih.) From "Wilson's Notes, the one-footed and the Sciapods 
should be two different races. 

13 Something like this was that jewel by the aid of which 
Tchagkuna recovered that other jewel which he had thrown into 
the water. — Eadjatarangini, tr. d. Troyer, II, p. 147. 

1* Strabo from Megasthenes, ib., § 56. Ctesias also mentions it, 
1= In the Vishnu Parana : " The seven horses of the sun's car 

are the metres of the Yedas," p. 218. Sculptured or painted horses 

always. 
16 Ctesias, p. 82, § 12, and p. 95, § 70. Wilson (Ariana Antiqua) 

has shown from the Mahabharata, (Mahabharata, 1859-60, Slok., 

Fauche's tr. II, p. 53), that this story has an Indian foundation. 

" Those tribes between Meru and Mandura verily presented in 



APOLLONIUS OF TYANA. 53 

wings were a reddish membrane, and hence their flight 
was low and spiral ; that they overpowered lions, ele- 
phants, and dragons ; and that the tiger alone because of 
his swiftness was their equal in fight. He told of the 
Phoenix, the one of his kind, born of the sun's rays and 
shining with gold, and that his five hundred years of 
life were spent in India ; and he confirmed the Egyptian 
account of this bird — that singing his own dirge he con- 
sumed himself in his aromatic nest at the fountains of 
the Mle. Similarly also swans it is said sing themselves 
to death, and have been heard by those who are very 
quick of ear. 

They remained four months with the Sophoi. When 
they took their departure, larchas gave Apollonius seven 
rings named after the seven planets ; these rings he 
ever afterwards wore each in its turn on its name-day. 
The Sophoi provided him and his party with camels 
and a guide, and accompanied them on the road ; and 
prophesying that Apollonius would even during his 
life attain the honours of divinity they took leave of 
him, and many times looking back as in grief at parting 
with such a man returned to their college. Apollonius 
and his companions, with the Ganges on their right the 
Hyphasis on their left {sic), travelled down towards the 
sea-coast, a ten days' journey, and on their road they 
saw many birds and wild oxen, asses and lions, panthers 

lumps of a drona weight, that gold which is dug up by Pippi- 
likas (ants), and which is therefore called ' Pippilika ant-gold'." 
( P. 135, note). See also A Journey to Lake Manasarovara, by 
Moorcroft, who speaks of a sort of marmot in the gold country 
which Schwanbeck supposes to be the original of this ant. — As. 
Res., xii, 442. This myth was not unknown to the Arabs. — Gil- 
demeister Script. Arab, de Eebus Indicis, p. 221. 



54 TR.VVELS OF 

and tigers, and a species of ape different from those that 
frequent the pepper-groves, black, hairy, and dog-faced, 
and like little men. And so conversing as their cus- 
tom was of what they saw, they reached the coast, where 
they found a small factory and passage-boats of a 
Tuscan build and the sea of a very dark colour. Here 
Apollonius sent back the camels with this letter to 
larchas : — 

" To larchas and the other Sophoi from Apollonius, 
greeting : I came to you by land, with your aid I return 
by sea, and might have returned through the air^'^ — 
such is the wisdom you have imparted to me. Even 
among the Greeks I shall not forget these things, and 
shall still hold commerce with you — or I have indeed 
vainly drunk of the cup of Tantalus.^^ Farewell, ye 
best philosophers." 

Apollonius then embarked, and set sail with a fair 
and gentle breeze. He admired the Hyphasis, wliich 
at its mouth narrow and rocky hurries through beetling 
cliffs into the sea with some danger to those who hug 
the land. He saw too the mouth of the Indus, and 
Patala, a city built on an island formed by the Indus, 
where Alexander collected his fleet. And Damis con- 

17 Easy and pleasant as this mode of travel is thought to be, 
Apollonius had recourse to it but once — on that memorable occa- 
sion when about mid-day he disappeared from before the tribunal 
of Domitian, and the same evening met Damis at Diceearchia, 
Puteoli, Vit. Apol. Philostr., viii, xc. 

18 Philostratus, v, 1, has another letter purporting to be written 
by Apollonius to larchas. He shows us too Apollonius occasionally 
and always reverentially speaking of larchas and Phraotes, and 
Porphyry, nepi 'Srvyos, quotes a letter of Apollonius in which he 
swears fia ro TavraXiov vSatp — from Staboeus. — In Olearius, note c. 51, 
III, L. Philost. 



APOLLONIUS OF TYANA. 55 

firms what Orthagoras lias related of the Eed Sea — that 
the Great Bear is not there visible ; that at noon there 
is no shadow ; and that the stars hold a different posi- 
tion in the heavens. 

He speaks of Byblus with its large mussels, and of 
Pagala of the Oritae where the rocks and the sands are 
of copper ; of the city Stobera and its inhabitants the 
Ichthyophagi, who clothe themselves in fish-skins and 
feed their cattle on fish; of the Carmani, an Indian 
race and civilized, who of the fish they catch keep only 
what they can eat, and throw the rest living back into 
the sea ; and of Balara where they anchored, a mart for 
myrrh and palms. He tells too of the mode in w^hich 
the people get their pearls. In this sea which is very 
deep the white-shelled oyster is fat, but naturally pro- 
duces no pearls. When however the weather is very calm 
and the sea smooth and made still smoother by pouring 
oil upon it, the Indian diver equipped as a sponge-cutter 
with the addition of an iron plate and a box of myrrh goes 
down to hunt for oysters. As soon as he has found one 
he seats himself beside it, and with his myrrh stupefies it 
and makes it open its shell. The moment it does this, 
he strikes it with a skewer and receives on his iron 
plate cut into shapes the ichor which is discharged from 
its wound. In these shapes the ichor hardens, and the 
pearls thus made differ in nothing from real pearl.^^ 
This sea he adds is full of monsters, from which the 

^9 Is this an indistinct and garbled account of the Chinese mode 
of making pearls described in a late Journal of the Society ? Tzetzes 
says that two origins are ascribed to pearls. Some assert that 
they are the produce of lightnings others that they are x^'poiTrorjroys; 
and he then describes the modus operandi, which is that in our 
text, and probably borrowed from it. — Chiliad., xi, p. 375j 472 L. 



56 TRAVELS OF 

sailors protect tliemselves by bells^^ at the poop and 
prow. Thus sailing, they at last reach the Euphrates, 
and so up to Babylon, and again meet Bardanes. 

In reviewing this account of India, our first enquiry 
is into the authority on which it rests. Damis was the 
companion of ApoUonius, so Philostratus and not im- 
possibly public rumour affirmed. Damis wrote a jour- 
nal, and though no scholar was according to Philostratus 
as capable as any man of correctly noting down what 
he saw and heard.^i But Damis died, and his journal, 
if journal he kept and such a journal ever existed, lay 
buried with him for upwards of a century, till one of 
his family presented it to the Empress Julia Domna the 
wife of Severus, curious in such matters. But in what 
state ? — untouched ? — with no additions to suit the 
Empress's taste ? Who shall tell ? Again, the Em- 
press did not order this journal to be published, but 
gave it to Philostratus a sophist and a rhetorician, with 
instructions to re- write and edit it ; and so re-written 
and edited he at length published it, but not till after 
the death of his patroness, the Empress. Weighing 
then these circumstances all open to grave suspicion, 



^ Nearchus drives these same fish away, rats oa\my^ip. — Strabo, 
XV, II, 12, p. 617, as was still done in Strabo's time.— ih., p. 138, 
Didot ed. The Arabs similarly. In the Voyages Arabes (tr. Rei- 
naud) of a monster fish in their seas, we are told, " La nuit les 
equipages font sonner des cloches semblables aux cloches des 
Chretiens, c'est enfin d'empecher ce poisson de s'appuyer sur le 
navire et de le sub merger." — I, p. 2. 

^^ AiarpiPrjv apayparpai, Kai 6, ri rjKovaev rj fiSev avarvtrcoaai — (T<podpa 
iKauos riv, Kai eTrereSeue tovto apiara apdpcoTrwv. — i, c. 19. 



APOLLONIUS OF TYANA. 57 

every one must admit that the journal of Damis gives 
no authority to Philostratus's work ; but that this last, 
and more especially tlie books which relate to India, 
may give authority to the journal and history. By 
their contents then they must be judged. 

That ApoUonius should pay little attention to, and 
not very accurately describe, external objects might be 
expected. One can understand that, occupied w^ith the 
soul and the gods, he should toil up the Ilindii-kiish 
without one remark on its snow-covered peaks — one 
plaint on the difficulties and dangers of its ascent.-^ But 
how explain these lengthy descriptions of animals and 
natural wonders that never had existence ? If you put 
forward Damis — of the earth, earthy, the Sancho Panza 
of this Quixote — an eager and credulous listener, you 
have still to show how it is, that these descriptions so 
exactly tally with those of Ctesias and the historians of 
Alexander ; how it is they are never original, except to 
add to our list of errors or to exaggerate errors already 
existing. Thus on Caucasus, more fortunate than the 
soldiers of Alexander, he not only hears of Prometheus 
but sees his chains. He climbs Mount Kysa, and has 
to tell of Bacchus and his orgies, and they are now no 
longer the inventions of flattery as Eratosthenes so 
shrewdly suspected, for Damis there found his temple 
and his statue. Similarly in general terms Seleucus 



22 Dangers which not even Hionen-Thsang was indifferent to; 
but Apollonius's indifference we may account for by an observation 
of Cicero : " In India, qui sapientes habentur, nudi aetatem agunt, 
et Caucasi nives hyemalemque vim perferunt sine dolore." — Tusc. 
Qusest., lib. v. 



58 TRAVELS OF 

Mcator and Onesicritus had vaunted the long life of 
elephants ; but in Taxila Damis admired the elephant 
of Porus and on its golden bracelets read its name and 
age. Copying Ctesias, he speaks of the Indus as forty 
stadia broad where narrowest ;^^ of giant Indians five 
cubits high ; of worms with an inextinguishable oil ; of 
winged griffins, but instead of large as wolves he makes 
them as large as lions ; and of the swift one-horned ass 
and the jewel Pantarbas, both of which he and Apollo- 
nius saw. Again Onesicritus knew by hearsay of ser- 
pents the pets of Aposeisares,^* of eighty and a hundred 
and forty cubits. Damis had been present at a dragon- 
hunt and had seen dragons' heads hanging as trophies 
in the streets of Paraka. Surely such information, not 
put forward as mere reports but solemnly vouched for, 
can never have come from a man who had really visited 
India, or they came from one of as little authority as 
Mendez Pinto, when lie gives an account of his expedi- 
tion to and a description of the imperial tombs of 
China.25 

But, it will be said, these w^onders were the common 
stock in trade of Indian travellers ; every man believed 
in them, and every man who went to India and wrote 
of India, was ashamed of not seeing at least as much as 

^2 Philostratus scarcely so strong, to "yap rrXooiixov avrov Toaovrov, 
its breadth at the ferry where people usually cross. — II, 17 and 18. 

^^ One of the Ptolemies could boast a similar pet, but it was 
only thirty-five cubits long, rpiaxovTairevratrrixvv. — Tzetzes, Ch. Ill, 
Hist. 113. 

25 Pinto narrates what he saw — Damis like — and not, that he had 
heard something like what he narrates. See Masoudi, p. 313, 
Eng. tr. 



APOLLONIUS OF TYANA. 59 

Lis predecessors. Leaving tlien these common-places, 
examine Damis where he is original, or nearly so. To 
him we owe the porphjrry temple and the metal mosaics 
at Taxila ; to him, that spur of Caucasus, stretching 
down from the Indian side of the Hyphasis to the In- 
dian Ocean; to him, its pepper-forests, and its monkeys, 
so useful in gathering the pepper-harvests. Through him 
we know of the groves sacred to Venus, and the unguent 
so necessary to an Indian marriage. He alone tells of 
the wondrous hill; its crater-fire of pardon, its rain- 
cask, and its brimming-cup of Tantalus ; and though of 
wind-bags and of self-acting tripods Homer had already 
written, and though of a well of the test Ctesias had 
vaguely heard and its qualities Bardesanes has described, 
Damis gives them local habitation, has seen them all. 

With the Sophoi Damis lived four months in closest 
intimacy, and yet from his description of them, who 
shall say, who and what they were ? To the powders he 
ascribes to them both Buddhists and Brahmans pretend. 
But while their mode of election determined by ances- 
tral and personal character points them out as Buddhists, 
their name, their long hair, their worship of the sun, 
declare them Brahmans.^^ But Buddhist or Brahman, 
at their feet after a long and weary travel Apollonius 
sits a disciple, and they instruct him — in doctrines and 
opinions which were current at Athens. In the very 
heart of India he finds its sages^*^ though "inland far 

26 Bardesanes, who knew of Bralimans and Buddhists only from 
report, has given a very clear and intelligible account of both. I 
have already referred to it. — Porphyry, iv, 17. 

27 That a Greek kincrdom with Greeks as its rulers, could not have 



60 TRAVELS OF 

they be", well acquainted with Greek geography and 
the navigation of the Grecian seas, worshipping Greek 
gods, speaking Greek, thinking Greek, — more Greek 
than Indian. Absurd and impossible as this description 
seems to us, our Damis, if I judge him rightly, was not 
the man to advance what the Greek mind was wholly 
unprepared to receive. Accordingly, long ago Clitar- 
chus and the historians of Alexander had announced an 
Indo-Greek Bacchus; to him Megasthenes added a Her- 
cules ; and more recently Plutarch had proclaimed, I 
know not on what authority, that the Indians were 
worshippers of the Greek gods f^ vague rumours therefore 
of such a worship were not improbably current, and 
Damis's journal merely confirmed them. Again Mcolaus 
Damascenus^^ was the first who spoke of the Greek lan- 
guage in connection with India. He states, that when at 
Antioch Epidaphne (22 B.C.) he met with some Indian 
ambassadors on their way to Augustus Csesar, and that 
their letter of credentials was in Greek. Diodorus,^^ 
quoting lambulus, speaks of the king of Palibothra as a 
lover of Greeks. Plutarch fend of the first century) , though 

existed, bordering on India and in India for upwards of a century, 
without some influence on the Hindu mind, what we now see going 
on in India assures us ; but that that influence was very limited we 
may gather from the very examples which its most strenuous sup- 
porter adduces to prove it. — Reinaud, Mem. sur I'lnde, pp. 333, 
347, 362, 363. 

2^ Vide supra, note 6. 

2a Frag. Hist., § 91, 4. 419, Didot's ed. 

^ laiubulus was brought es iroAiv Ua\i$o9pav...opTos Se (piWeWrivos 
Tov ^aaiXews. — Diod. Sic, Bib. Hist., II. 60. Diodorus and Damas- 
cenus were cotemporaries and flourished in the latter half of the 
century b.c, and the earliest part of the first century. 



APOLLONIUS OF TYANA. 61 

he does not name the Indians, in enumerating the great 
deeds of Alexander narrates that by his means Asia was 
civilised and Homer read there, and that the children^^ 
of Persians, Susians, and Gedrosians sang the tragedies 
of Euripides and Sophocles. Dio Chrysostom,^^ cotem- 
porary with Plutarch and a friend of ApoUonius, in a 
panegyric upon Homer insists upon his wide-spread 
reputation ; that he lived in the memory not only of 
Greeks but of many of the barbarians ; " for his poems 
it is said are sung by the Indians, who have translated 
them into their own language ; so that a people who do 
not contemplate the same stars as ourselves, in whose 
heaven our polar star is not visible, — are not unac- 
quainted with the grief of Priam, and the tears and 
wailings of Hecuba and Andromache and the courage 
of Achilles and Hector." ^lian, of about the same age 
as Philostratus, tells us that not only the Indians but 
the kings of Persia also have translated and sung the 
poems of Homer, "if one may credit those who write on 
these matters."^^ On such vague authority, coupled 
doubtless with the fact that an Indo-Greek kingdom had 
formerly existed and had at one time extended to the 
Jumna, and that barbaric kings so honoured Greece 
that on their coins they entitled themselves Philhel- 
lene,^* Damis built up this part of his romance, which 
flattered Greek prejudices and soothed Greek vanity 
and was willingly received by that influential and edu- 

31 Kot nep<T«i' Kai "Siovaiavuv nai Ted^uaicDV rroiSes ras Evpimdoo nai 
2o<l)0«Aeouv TpuyuSias JiSoy, ut supra. 

='2 De Houiero Oratio, LIII, 277; II, Eeiske. 

33 VarisB Hist., L. xii, c. 48. 

84 Bayer Keg. Greec. Bactriani Hist., p. 117. 



62 TRAVELS OF APOLLOXIUS. 

cated class to whom it was addressed, and who were 
struggling to give new life and energy to the perishing 
religion of Greece. 

Of Damis's geography I can only say that it reminds 
me of a fairy tale. As soon as he leaves the well- 
known scene of Alexander's exploits, he crosses moun- 
tains unknown to any map, and 'then describes an 
immense plain of fifteen days' journey to the Ganges 
and eighteen days to the Eed Sea, but which he himself 
travels over in fourteen days; for in four days he 
reaches the hill of the Sophoi, and thence in ten days 
arrives at the one mouth of the Hyphasis. Who shall 
explain these discrepancies, account for these mistakes, 
and fix localities thus vaguely described ? 

Ee vie wing the whole work of Philostratus, it seems 
to me that Apollonius either pretended or was believed 
to have travelled through, and made some stay in India, 
but that very possibly he did not really visit it ; and 
that if he did visit it, our Damis never accompanied him, 
but fabricated the journal Philostratus speaks of, for it 
contains some facts, from books written upon India and 
tales^^ current about India which he easily collected at 
that great mart for Indian commodities and resort for 
Indian merchants — Alexandria. 

36 Traceable to the same sources as those from whicli Dio Chry- 
sostom obtained bis stories about India. In his oration to tlie 
people of Alexandria, he speaks of Bactrians, Scythia,ns, Persians, 
and a few Indians {IvSoov Tivas), as frequenting their city (Ih., I, p. 
672) ; and as authority for his Indian tale to the Celaeni, he gives : 
Tti'es TCttv acpiKUovfievoou tcpaaaw atpiKVowrai Se ov iroWoi Tives ejunopiai 
€VfK€u. ovToi Se tni/j.i'yvvvTai rois irpos QaXarrrj- rovio 5e UTifiov farev 
Ifdcov TO yevos, ot re aAAoi ^l/syovaiv avrovs. — II, 72, p. 3. 



ON THE 

INDIAN EMBASSY TO AUGUSTUS. 



ON 

THE IJSTDIAK EMBASSY TO AUGUSTUS. 



NicoLAUS Damascenus, in a fragment preserved by 
Strabo,^ relates that at Antiocli Epidapbne he fell in 
with three Indian ambassadors, then on their way to 
the court of Augustus. They were, as their letter 
showed, the survivors of a larger embassy, to the other 
members of which the length of the journey principally 
had proved fatal.^ Their letter was written on parch- 
ment {Bccjidepay and in the name of Porus and in Greek. 

1 Geograph. India, 1. xv, c. I, 73, also Damasceni, Frag. 91 j Frag. 
Hist. Grsec, iii, v, p. 419, Didot. 

^ Oyy €K fx(ur7}S (TTi(rro\7]S irKeiovs SrjKovffdat, (rco6r]vai Se rpets fxovovs ovs 
tdiiv <p7}ai, rovs 5'aAAous viro fxrjKovs tcov odcou Sia<pdapr]vai ro ir\€ov. Ut 
supra. Similarly of the six or seven hundred sent by Kublai Khan 
with the Polos to conduct his daughter to the Prince of Persia 
only eight reached their destination. " Et sachiez sans faille que 
quand ils entrerent en mer, ils furent bien vi cent personnes sans 
les mariniers. Tous morurent, qu'il n'en eschapa que viii." Marco 
Polo, c. xxiii, 30, p. 1, ed. Pauthier; all but eighteen, ed. Soc. 
Geog. Six hundred of the crew died, of the three ambassadors 
only one survived, whilst of the women only one died.— Ed. Mars- 
den, p. 24. 

8 Ext Se Kat ro Kar* cjue, iroWoi tu)V ^apfiapoov fs...Si(p6€pa5 ypatpovai. 
Herodotus, v, 58. As materials used for writing on in India, 
Eeinaud, Mem. sur I'lnde, p. 305, mentions barks of trees in the 
north and palm leaves in the south. Heeren, Hist. Ees., II, 107, 
on the authority of Paolino, adds to these cotton. Dr. Rost's rice 

F 



66 THE INDIAN EMBASSY 

It set forth tliatPonis,thoTigli lord over six hundred kings, 
much valued the friendship of, and was ready to open 
his dominions to, Caesar, and to assist him on all just 
and lawful occasions.* The presents they brought with 
them were in the charge of eight well-anointed slaves 
naked all but their girdles, and consisted of a youth 
whose arms had been amputated at the shoulders in 
childhood, a sort of Hermes, some large vipers, a snake 
ten cubits long, a river tortoise of four cubits, and a 
partridge somewhat larger than a vulture. With the 
ambassadors was that Indian, who burned himself at 
Athens — not to escape from present ills, but because, 
hitherto successful in everything he had undertaken, he 
now feared, lest any longer life should bring him misery 
and disappointment; and so smiling, naked and per- 
fumed, he leaped into the burning pile. On his tomb 
was placed this inscription : — 

"Here lies Zarmanochegas, of Bargosa, who according 
to the ancestral custom of the Hindus gave himself im- 
mortality."^ 

In this narrative, the king of kings Porus, the Greek 

paper j while Hiouen Tlisang intimates that in his time the Tala 
leaf was generally used. " Les feuilles des Tala (Borassus flabel- 
liformis) sont longues, larges, et d'une couleur luisante. Dans 
tous les Eoyaumes de I'lnde il n'y a personne qui n'en recueille 
pour ecrire," iii, v, p. 148. On the whole I very much doubt if the 
Hindus ever wrote on parchment or any prepared skin. Dr. Eost, 
librarian of the India House, knows of no Hindu parchment MSS. ; 
and of no MSS. more than five hundred years old. 

^ Kot 6T0//X0S eiTj hio^ov 7€ 7rap6X€Ji', OTTTj jSouAerat, nai av/xirpaTTeiv baa 
KaXcDs 6X^'' ^^ supra. 

5 Zapfiavoxvyc-^ Ij'Sos avo Bapyocrris Kara ra irarpia Ii'bwv edr} kavrov 
aTTaflaj'aTtcras Kurtm. MS. 



TO AUGUSTUS. 67 

letter, the beggarly presents better suited to a juggler's 
booth than to the court of a great sovereign, strike us 
with surprise ; and we ask whether an Indian, or what 
purported to be an Indian Embassy, and such an em- 
bassy as described by Damascenus, ever presented itself 
to Augustus, and by whom and from what part of India 
it could have been sent ? 

To this Indian Embassy, Horace, a cotemporary, in 
more than one ode, exultingly and with some little ex- 
aggeration aUudes f and to it Strabo almost a cotempo- 

6 Carmen Seculare, 55, 56 (written about 17 B.C.) ; Ode 14, L. iv, 
(13 B.C.), and Ode 12, L. i (22 B.C. according to Bentley, 19 B.C. 

according to Donatus) where he speaks of " Subjectos Seres et 

Indos." Who the Seres were I do not know ; Eeinaud, however, 
will have them to be the Chinese. Indeed, in a series of papers on 
the Relations between Eome and India, the first of which appeared 
in the Journal Asiatique for March, 1863, and the whole of which 
have been subsequently published in a separate form, he argues 
that between the two countries considerable political and commer- 
cial intercourse existed already in the reign of Augustus. And in 
support of his view he cites from TibuUus, Propertius, Virgil, 
Horace, etc., passages which with one exception are so general 
that they surely are but as Sibylline prophecies or poetic aspira- 
tions. The one exception I allude to is the 3 EL, B. iv, of Proper- 
tius, which purports to be the letter of a wife Arethusa to her 
husband Lycotas, a soldier, whose continued absence she deplores. 

Te modo viderunt iteratos Bactra per ortus 
Te modo munito Sericus hostis equo, 

Hybernique Getae pictoque Britannia curru, 
Ustus et Eoo decolor Indus equo. 
But as the armies of Augustus never passed the Euphrates, it 
cannot have been as a Eoman soldier that Lycotas traversed and 
retraversed Bactria, and surely than that Lycotas, as Eeinaud sug- 
gests, was an ambassador from Antony to Kanischka, it is easier 
to suppose that he was a mercenary Greek, who had fought in the 
armies of the Parthian kings, and whose adventures had been 
noised in Eome ; and easiest of aU to look on the letter as without 



6S THE INDIAN EMBASSY 

rary a second time refers/ when in opening his account 
of India he laments the scantiness of his materials; that 
so few Greeks, and those but ignorant traders and incap- 
able of any just observation, had reached the Ganges ; 
and that from India but one embassy to Augustus from 
one place and from one king Pandion or Porus had 
visited Europe. Of later writers who mention it, Florus 
(a.d. 110, 17) states that the ambassadors were four 
years on the road, and that their presents were of ele- 
phants, pearls, and precious stones";^ and Suetonius 
(a.d. 120, 30) attributes it to the fame of Augustus' 
moderation and virtues, which allured Indians and Scy- 
thians to seek his alliance and that of the Eoman peo- 
ple.^ Dio Cassius (a.d. 194) speaks of it at length ; he 
tells, that "at Samos (b.c. 22, 20) many embassies came to 
Augustus, and that the Indians, having before pro- 
claimed, then and there concluded, a treaty of alliance 

any foundation in fact, as purely imaginary as the subject Indians 
and the Seric cavalry, and on Lycotas as the representative of the 
Eoman armies, and their achievements past and to come, a delicate 
flattery of the courtly Propertius. 

7 Ut supra, 4, c. Kot oi vw 8e e^ AiyvKriov irXiovrfs efiiropiKoi r^ 
NcjAqu KOI T^ Apa^Kf koXttw ju^xpt ttjs lvZiKr)S airavioi /xcv kui •jr€pnr\€vKacri 
fi^XP^ ''■"i' Vwyyov, Kai ovroi 5' ibiwrat Kai ovdev irpos taroptav twv tottuv 
XP'?o't)UOi, KaK^iB^v S' a<^' kvos Toirov Koi Trap' euos fiaaiXeus TlavSiovos Kai 
aWov (77 Kar' aWovs, Groskurd) Tlwpov, t]KiV oos Kaiaapa tov '2,il3aaTov 
Soopa Kai Trpf(T0€ia Kai 6 KaraKavaas eavrov AOrjVTjcri aocpiaJTjs IfSos, Kada- 
irep 6 KaXavos AAe^ai Spa) ttjj' ToiavTTfu deav eTridei^afxeuos. 

5^ Hist. Eom., iv, c. 12, ad calcem " Indi cum gemmis et marga- 
ritis elephantes quoque inter munera trahentes nihil magis quam 
longinquitatem vise imputabant quam quadriennio impleverant." 

9 Augustus, c. 21. " Qua virtutis moderationisque fama, Indos 
etiam ac Scythas auditu modo cognitos pellexit ad amicitiam suam 
populique Eomani ultro per legates petendam.'* 



TO AUGUSTUS. 69 

with liim ;^^ that among their gifts were tigers now seen 
for the first time by Eomans and even Greeks, and a 
youth witliout arms like a statue of Hermes, but as ex- 
pert with his feet as other people with their hands, for 
with them he could bend a bow, throw a javelin, and 
play the trumpet." Dio then goes on to say that " one 
of the Indians, Zarmaros, whether because he was of the 
Sophists and therefore out of emulation, or whether be- 
cause he was old and it was the custom of his coun- 
try, or whether as a show for the Athenians and Au- 
gustus who had gone to Athens, expressed his deter- 
mination of putting an end to his existence. And having 
been first initiated in the mysteries of the two Gods^^ 
held out of their due course for the initiation of Augus- 
tus, he afterwards threw himself into the burning pile." 
Hieronymus (a.d. 380) in his translation of the Canon 



10 Hist. Eom., L. 9, 58, p. ii, Bekker A. Y. 734. b.c. 18. 
Augustus being then in Samos, UaixiroKXai St? irpca^eiai irpos avrov 
atpiHOVTo, Kai ol IvSoi TtpoKripvKivaajXiUoi irponpov (piXiav roSe eaireicravTO, 
Swpa irefxr^avTes aAAa re Kai riypeis, irpcorou tot6 tois PwixaioLs, i/ofxi^oo 
5' OTi Kai Tois EWrjaiv, o<pdei(rai' Kai ri Kai fieipaKiou ot av€v wuwp, olovs 
Tovs 'Ep/Jias dpcofiev, fSooKaV Kai ^ivroi toiovtov bv €K€it'o es iravra rois 
■nocTiv are Kai x^pTiv exprjro, to^ov t6 avTOis evereive Kai fi€\T] tjcpiei Kai eaa\- 
iri^eu...'Ypa(pa} yap \€yofAeva...(is d' ovv rctv ludwu Zapinapos...€iTe Kai es 
eniSei^iv Tov 5e Avyvrrrov Kai rcou A9r]uaicou {Kai yap eKeicrcu r]\6ev) airo- 
daveiv fQe\7](Tas c/jLv-qOr} re ra roiu 6eoiu, rcov fxv(7rr)pia}u Kanrep ouk ev rep 
Kad7}K(iuri Kaipo), ws (paai, 5ta rov hvyvarov Kai avrov fjieixvrjfxeuovyevopLevuv, 
Kai TTvpi kavrov ^oivra e^eScoKev. 

11 Suetonius, without going into detail, casually confirms this 
initiation of Augustus at Athens, ^'Namque Athenis initiatus, &c.," 
Aug. c. 93. But allowing that Augustus was initiated at Athens at 
this time, it does not follow that this Hindu was initiated with 
him, though such an initiation would be no impossible proceeding 
in a Buddhist priest. 



70 THE INDIAN EMBASSY 

Chronicon of Eusebius^^ just notices an Indian Embassy 
to Augustus/^ but places it in the third year of the 
188th Olympiad, or B.C. 26. And Orosius, a native of 
Tarragona (early part of the 5th century) relates/* that 
"an Indian and a Scythian Embassy traversed the whole 
world, and found Caesar at Tarragona, in Spain ;" and 
with some rhetorical flourish, then observes, " that just 
as in Babylon Alexander received deputations from 
Spain and the Gauls, so now Augustus in the furthest 

12 I have not cited Eusebius, because, in Mains* and Zohrab's 
edition of his Canon Chronicon founded on an old Armenian ver- 
sion, there is no allusion whatever to our embassy. I observe also 
that Scaliger's edition makes the same double and confused men- 
tion of it, and in the very same words that does George the Syn- 
cell's Chronographia, from which Scaliger largely borrowed. Know- 
ing then how Scaliger made up his edition of the Canon Chron., I 
suspect that even supposing a notice of our embassy in the original 
work, and this is doubtful (Mains' Pref., xviii), such a notice 
could not well have existed in the shape in which it now appears. 
For Georgius and Scaliger's Canon Chronicon under the one hun- 
dred and eighty-eighth Olymp., state, rare Kai UavSiav 6 ro>v Ivdwv 
/BaatXeus cirfKVpvKevaaro (}>ihos AtryvaTov yeveadai (/cat ai/ju/xoxoj) ; then 
going back to the hundred and eighty-fifth 01. (40-36 e.g.), each 
tells of the death of Antony and the capture of Lepidus, and how 
Augustus then became sole emperor, and how the Alexandrians 
compute the years of Augustus, and then adds UavSicov 6 rcov IvSav 
^aai\ev5 (f>i\os AxryvaTov Kai avfiimaxos irpea/SeueTat. Georg. Syncellus 
Byzant. Hist. Niebuhr, 588-9, ih. 

13 Indi ab Augusto amicitiampostularunt, 188th 01ym.(Migneed ) 
1* Interea Csesarem apud Tarraconem citerioris Hispaniae urbem 

legati Indorum et Scytharum toto orbe transmisso tandem ibi in- 
venerunt, ultra quod quserere non possent, refuderuntque in 
Csesarem Alexandri Magni gloriam ; quern sicut Hispanorum Gal- 
lorumque legatio in medio Oriente apud Babylonem contempla- 
tione pacis adiit, ita hunc apud Hispaniam in Occidentis ultimo 
supplex cum gentilitio munere eous Indus et Scytha boreus oravit. 
— Orosius, Hist, vi, c. xii. 



TO AUGUSTUS. 71 

west was approached with gifts by suppliant Indian 
and Scythian Ambassadors." From these authorities, I 
think we may safely conclude, that an Indian Embassy, 
or what purported to be an Indian Embassy, was received 
by Augustus. 

But while we allow that our authorities are ap- 
plicable to or certainly not irreconcilable with Damas- 
cenus' embassy which Augustus received at Samos, 22-20 
B.C. ; we cannot but observe that St. Jerome's is referred 
to the year 26 B.C. and that Orosius brings it to Tarragona, 
whither Augustus had gone 27 B.C., and where he was 
detained tiU 24 B.C. by the Cantabrian war. Hence a 
difficulty, which Casaubon and others have endeavoured 
to remove by assuming two Indian Embassies ; the one 
at Tarragona to treat of peace, the other at Samos to 
ratify the peace agreed upon. But — ^not to mention 
that this preliminary embassy is unknown to the 
earlier writers,^^ who all so exult in the so-called second 
embassy that they scarcely would have failed to notice 
the first — I would first remark that no author whatever 
speaks of two Indian Embassies. And I would secondly 
refer to the ambassadorial letter of which Damascenus 
has preserved the contents, and in which we find no 
allusion to any previous contract or agreement between 
the two sovereigns, but simply an offer on the part of 
the Hindu prince to open his country to the subjects 



^5 I do not overlook the irpoKrjpvKevcrafievoi irporepov ^i\iav rare 
effirfiaavTo of Dio Cassius. But is it, looking at the context, possible 
to conceive that those irpoKrjpvKevffafxfvoi were other than those who 
T0T6 fcireiaavro, and who were at Antioch 22 B.C. and who then 
probably gave notice of their mission by herald ? 



72 THE INDIAN EMBASSY 

and citizens of Eome in the person of Csesar. Surely- 
then, than this embroglio of embassies which come to 
sue for peace where war was impossible, it is more 
natural to suppose that Jerome a careless writer^^ mis- 
dated his embassy ; and that Orosius, a friend and 
pupil of Jerome,^'^ finding that the date in Jerome 
tallied with Caesar's expedition to Spain, seized the 
opportunity both of illustrating his native town and of 
instituting a comparison between Augustus and Alex- 
ander the Great. I think we may rest content with 
one embassy. 

But is Damascenus' account of this embassy a trust- 
worthy and faithful account ? Strabo evidently gives 
credit to it, and to some extent confirms it by stating 
that the Hermes he himself had seen {ov Kai r)fjLec<; 
eiBofiev) ; and in another place, while he attributes our 
embassy to a Pandion rather than a Porus, he still 
connects it with the Indian who burned himself at 
Athens.^^ Plutarch (a.d. 100, 10) in noticing the self- 
cremation of Calanus Alexander's Gymnosophist adds, 
that many years afterwards at Athens another Indian 
in the suite of Augustus similarly put an end to his 
life, and that his monument is still known as the 
Indian's tomb.^^ Horace, Florus, and Suetonius, give 
indeed another character and other objects to the 

16 *f Propter festinationem quam ipse in Chronici prsefatione 
fatetur.*' — Maius, Can. Chron. Prsef. xix. 

17 Smith's Diet, of Greek and Eom. Biog., Art. Orosius. 

18 Vide supra, note 7. 

19 TouTo iToWois €T€<riv varepov aWos IvSos ev Adrjuais Kaiaapi avvuv 
eiroiriaeu Kai deiKvmai fxexpi vvv to fiviifi.iiov Iv^ov KaAovfAfVoy. Alex- 
andri vita, vitse iii, p. 1290. 



TO AUGUSTUS. 73 

embassy, but write too loosely to be authorities for any 
fact not reconcilable with the narrative of Damascenus. 
With that narrative Dio Cassius, too, in the main 
agrees ; but as he specifies tigers, a truly royal gift,^^ 
and unknown to Damascenus, as among the Indian 
presents, he gives us an opportunity of testing his and 
Damascenus' accuracy. For he af&rms that the tigers 
of the embassy were the first ever seen by Eomans. 
Now Suetonius mentions it as a trait of Augustus, that 
he was ever so ready to gratify the people with the 
sight of rare or otherwise remarkable animals, that he 
would exhibit them " extra ordinem," out of due course 
and on ordinary days, and that in this way he exhibited 
a tiger on the stage.^^ And Pliny states that " a tame 
tiger" (and other than tame tigers our ambassadors 
would scarcely carry about with them) "was shown in 
Home for the first time at the consecration of the 
Theatre of Marcellus (the in scena of Suetonius) in the 
Nones of May and during the consulships of Q. Tubero 
and Fabius Maximus,^^ or in the year 11 B.C., i.e. nine 
years after the date of our embassy, hardly, therefore, 

20 Suleiman Aga when sent by the Pasha of Bagdad to the Go- 
vernor-General of India takes as presents five horses and four 
lions. — Castlereagh Dispatches, v, 193. 

21 " Solebat etiara citra spectaculorum dies, si quando quid novi- 
tatum dignumque cognitu advectum esset, id extra ordinem quoli- 
bet loco publicare : ut rhinocerotem apud septa, tigrim in scena, 
anguem quinquaginta cubitorum pro Comitio." — Augustus, c. 43. 

22 Augustus Q. Tuberone, Paulo Maximo coss. iv. Nonas Maias 
TheatroMarcelli dedicatione tigrim primus omnium Eomse ostendit 
in cavea mansuefactum : Divus vero Claudius simul quatuor. — 
Plin.Hist. Nat., viii, 25. How common afterwards! — v. Martial, 
viii, 1. 26, Ep. 



74 THE INDIAN EMBASSY 

a tiger presented by it. The evidence of Dio Cassins 
on this point is then, to say the least of it, unsupported, 
and we see no reason to believe that tigers were among 
the Indian gifts. We thus find the account of Damas- 
cenus confirmed in several particulars, and in none 
satisfactorily impugned. We accept the Indian Sophist, 
we accept the Hermes, we accept the beggarly presents, 
and because we accept so much we accept also the 
Greek letter, and the Pandyan or Puru, king of kings ; 
for we believe, as Strabo also evidently believed, 
that what Damascenus wrote, he wrote from his own 
knowledge. But how then explain what is so at 
variance with our established notions ? 

Lassen^^ in that great Encyclopaedia of Hindu litera- 
ture the "Indische Alterthumskunde", evidently struck 
by the good faith of Damascenus' narrative, has endea- 
voured to smooth down the difficulties attached to it. The 
six hundred subject kings he sets down to evident exag- 
geration, but he identifies the Porus of the embassy with 
the Paurava king, who at the beginning of our sera on 
the death of Kadphises II founded an independent king- 
dom in the Western Punjab. Tliis Prince he observes 
was a serpent-worshipper, and as a serpent-worshipper 
would naturally look upon the sacred reptile as a fit offer- 
ing to a brother sovereign. He accounts : for the pre- 
sents, by suggesting that the more valuable of them the 
ambassadors had sold on the road : and for the Greek 
letter, by supposing that it was obtained from some 
Greek scribe, and substituted for the royal credentials.^* 

23 Indisclie Alterthumskunde, 59, 60, p. iii. 

2^ Surely the Greek legends on Indian coins, where the sove- 



TO AUGUSTUS. 75 

This explanation, however ingenious, is scarcely satis- 
factory. For, 

1st. Even supposing that our ambassadors had pro- 
cured a Greek version^^ of the royal letter, yet as Damas- 
cenus expressly states that their letter was in Greek, 
not translated, it follows that they must have sup- • 
pressed the original and substituted for it what may or 
may not have been a translation, i.e.^ we must suppose 
them guilty of the gravest crime which can be laid to 
the charge of ambassadors, the falsification of their cre- 
dentials. 

2ndly. Allowing our Porus to have been a serpent- 
worshipper, was he therefore likely to approach an un- 
known ally with one of his pet gods, and such a god \ 
as an offering V-^ I have never heard that the old 
Egyptian Pharaohs, in reciprocating civilities with any 

reign's name, wWcli could not have been copied from any existing 
die, is found with its proper inflexions, as e. g. on the coins of 
Azes 50 B.C. BASIAEQZ BASIAEHN MEFAAOT AZOT (Wilson's Ariana 
Antiqua, 325), would indicate that in the north-west provinces of 
India the Greek language was not utterly forgotten : and if we 
could believe that our embassy came from the Punjab, we would 
take it for granted that its Greek letter was composed there. 

25 Eubruquis, a.d. 1250, thus speaks of the royal letter which 
he delivered to the Tartar king: *' Afterwards I delivered unto 
him your Majesty's letters with the translation thereof into the 
Arabike and Syriake languages. For I caused them to be trans- 
lated at Acori into the character and dialect of both the rudo 
tongues." — Hakluyt, 1, 117. But the Buddhist priest who brings a 
letter, a.d. 982, from an Indian King to the Chinese Emperor 
delivers it, and the Emperor orders it to be translated. — Eaits 
concemant I'lnde, tr. du Chinois, Pauthier, p. 73. 

26 Yet Hadrian consecrated an Indian serpent in the Olympion 
at Athens, ^paKoura otto IvSias KoixiadfVTa aviBrjKev. — Dio Cassius. 
Xiphilinus II, p. 329, Bekker. 



76 THE INDIAN EMBASSY 

neighbouring king, ever presented him with some well- 
grown crocodile, or a case of beetles with their appro- 
priate garniture. But let the serpent pass. You have 
still to account for the vipers and the tortoise. And if 
you allege in apology that these Avere but the dregs and 
refuse of a once richly freighted embassy, and that all 
that was of value, the pearls and spices, had been sold : 
then as it could only have been sold under the pressure 
of want, you have to show that under the circumstances 
the pressure of want was probable.^^ Now, though the 
journey before our ambassadors was long and perhaps 
dangerous, it was over no strange and untrodden coun- 
try, but along the most ancient route in the world,^ fre- 
quented by caravans, with many stopping-places well 
known and at ascertained distances f^ it is scarcely 
credible then that they should set out otherwise than 
provided against all contingencies, as well provided at 
least as the merchants whom they probably accompanied, 
and scarcely credible that they should have actually 
suffered from want. But may not the troubles which 
then harassed the Parthian Empire have delayed their 

27 The French expedition from Saigon to Shangai left June 5th, 
1866, reached Yunnan Dec. 23rd, 1867, and Shangai June 12th, 
1868. They took two years, but were detained at Bossal on the 
Lower Laos four months. At Yunnan they arrived exhausted and 
in absolute want, — instruments, books, every thing had to be 
abandoned. At Tonghenan their chief died. But the route was an 
unexplored one. — Saturday Review, Nov. 21, 1868, p. 683. 

28 Arrian speaks of a Xiuxpopos 6Sos, extending evidently, from 
the context, in the direction of India through Bactria. — Exped. 
Alexand., iii, L. c. 21. 

29 V. Mansiones Parthicse Isidori Characeni. Geograph. Minor 
iv, Didot ed., and a short account of another route for goods in 
Pliny, Hist. Nat., vi, xix. 



TO AUGUSTUS. 77 

progress, lengthened their journey, and thus increased its 
expenses ? Yes, but as those troubles were now of long 
standing, they appear surely rather as a reason against 
the setting out of the embassy than as one for its miser- 
able plight on arrival. 

3rdly. The Paurava Prince to whom Lassen would as- 
cribe this embassy, obtained his throne only after the 
death of Kadphises II, and in the beginning of our sera. 
And as Kadphises conquered India, more properly the 
Punjab and Kabulistan, according to Lassen himself 
about 24 B.C. and died about 10 b.c./^ and as our em- 
bassy met Augustus at Samos 22, 20 B.C., it very evidently 
could not be the embassy of the Paurava Prince. And 
it could hardly have represented either Kadphises or 
the King whom Kadphises dethroned; because it is 
improbable that Kadphises in any transaction with a 
foreign sovereign would appear disguised under a Hindu 
name ; and very improbable that either the king who 
had just conquered a kingdom, or the king who was on 
the point of losing one, should occupy himself with em- 
bassies not of a political but of a purely commercial 
character, and for an object which the very countries 
that separated him from Eome rendered impossible. 

^ Lassen ut supra, ii, p. 411, corrected by note 8, p. 813. "Kad- 
phises wahrscheinlich Indien 24 v. Christi G. eroberte und etwa 
14 Jahren nachher starb." Wilson, Ariana Antiqua places him, 
however, " not earlier than the commencement of the Christian 
sera", and seems to have misunderstood Lassen when he adds that 
*' Lassen proposes the end of the first century as the term of the 
kingdom of Kadphises," p. 353. As to the extent of his dominions, 
Lassen ib. p. 818, observes " Seine Beinahme, Beherrscher der 
Erde, macht Anspriiche auf ein ausgedehntes Reich. Diese An- 
spriiche miissen auf Kabulistan und das Punjab beschrankt werden." 



78 THE INDIAN EMBASSY 

But liow tlien account for all that surprises us in this 
embassy ? 

What do we gather from Damascenus' narrative ? 

I. He met our ambassadors at Antioch Epidaphne. 
Now Antioch Epidaphne is so situated that it is just as 
probable they arrived there on the road to Greece from 
the western coast of the Indian Peninsula, either by 
way of the Red Sea and Alexandria or the Persian 
Gulf and the Euphrates, as by the mid- Asiatic route 
and from the Punjab. 

II. Damascenus speaks of a native of Bargosa as accom- 
panying or attached to the embassy, and though he 
states that the ambassadorial letter was written in the 
name of Porus, Strabo rather attributes it to a Pandion : 
and as Barygaza is a trading town at the mouth of the 
Nerbudda on the Indian coast, and Pandya a kingdom 
extending along the Western shores of the Indian 
Peninsula, to the Western coast of India I conclude 
with Strabo that the embassy probably belongs. 

III. This native of Bargosa or Barygaza, Sanscrit 
Varikatcha (Julien), is described as a Hindu, and bears 
a name Zarmanos Chegan, Sanscrit gramanakarja,^^ i.e., 
Teacher of the Shamans, which points him out as of the 
Buddhist faith and a priest, and as his death proves a 
priest earnest in his faith. His companions then were 
probably Hindus also, and perhaps Buddhists and the 
representatives of a Hindu and possibly a Buddhist 
prince. 

31 Lassen ut supra iii, p. 60. Just in the same way 1 conclude 
that Calanus who followed Alexander and burned himself in Persia 
was a Buddhist as well from his willingness to leave his home and 
his death as from his conversation with Onesicritus. — Strabo, xv. 



TO AUGUSTUS. 79 

rv. The wretched presents — the Greek letter — the 
sort of doubt which hangs over the name and country of 
the prince, are all indicative not of the sovereign of a 
great kingdom, hut of the petty raja of some commercial 
town or insignificant district. 

V. The presents not unsuited to the tastes of Augus- 
tus, and the Greek letter and its purely commercial 
tone, indicate that our embassy was planned and organ- 
ized by Greek traders, and more for Greek than Hindu 
interests. 

VI. This embassy is conceivable only under the sup- 
position that, if it forwarded the interests of the Greeks 
who planned it, it also benefited the Hindu prince who 
was induced to lend it his name. 

But who was this Prince ? who these Greeks ? and 
what their common interests ? The prince and his resi- 
dence we are unable to identify. There is nothing in 
the reptiles of the presents, larger indeed in Guzerat^^ 
but common to the whole western coast of India, which 
can enable us to fix on the locale of the embassy. If 
we turn to the name of the prince, we find that he is a 
Porus in the ambassadorial letter, but had become Pan- 
dion when Strabo wrote^^ and the Peninsula was better 



32 For the serpents of Guzerat see Forbes, Oriental Memoirs, i, 
480 ; for the partridges of the Nerbudda, the black kind are striking 
from their beauty, none remarkable for their size, id.., 501. Might 
the partridge of the embassy, large as a hawk, have been the 
jungle fowl which Forbes describes as having something of the 
plumage of the partridge ? 

33 As the kingdom of Pandya according to the Periplus Erith. 
Anony. is the S. Deccan and extends from Nelkunda, Nelisuram, to 
Komar, Cape Comorin (§ 54, 58, Didot ed.), we see how with the 



80 THE INDIAN EMBASSY 

known. A Puru of the Punjab we have seen that in all 
probability he was not; and I do not understand how he 
could well have been a Pandyan ; because Pandya was 
a great and powerful sovereign and of the Saiva faith,^* 
the most bigoted of the Hindu forms of religion, and 
was not likely therefore either to have initiated a com- 
mercial alliance with a foreign state, or to have initiated 
it by such an embassy as ours. D'Anville suggests that 
he was a Kana of Ougein who claimed a descent from 
Porus.^^ But surely a descent from Porus real or pre- 
tended, is not in itself sufficient to identify our prince, 
unless it can be shown that like the Pandyans and the 
Guptas he attached to his own name that of his ances- 
tors, used it as a family name and in all public docu- 
ments styled himself son of Puru. Besides, it seems to 
me that Ougein is too far inland to have already come 
into direct contact with Greek traders, and to have 
known anything of Augustus and the Eoman Empire. 
To recur then to our naiTative, it records' the name of 
one Indian town, Bargosa or Barygaza.^^ And in the 

increase in the direct trade the name Pandion should become 
better known at Alexandria than that of Porus, and at length 
take its place. 

34 The prevailing form of the Hindu religion in the south of the 
Peninsula was at the commencement of the Christian era and 
some time before it, most probably that of Siva. Hist. Sketch of 
Pandya. — Wilson, Journal Eoy. As. Soc. iii, p. 204. 

35 Vincent's Commerce of the Antients, ii, 407. It is perhaps as 
well to state, that from a Note of Wilson's in his sketch of Pandya, 
it seems that the Aarivansa and Agni Purana make Pandya of the 
line of Puru ; but that as he is not so specified in the Vishnu 
Purana, Wilson is of opinion that " his insertion is the work of 
more recent authorities." — Journal Roy. As. Soc. iii, 'No. 1 note. 

s6 Barygaza was the port of Ougein and may have belonged to 



TO AUGUSTUS. 81 

neighbourhood of Barygaza, and indeed throughout the 
Northern part of the Peninsula, statues and temples of 
Buddha are still seen, which indicate that there formerly 
Buddhism was certainly recognised, perhaps flourished, 
and was on the ascendant.^'' Barygaza besides situated 
at the mouth of a great river was when the Periplus 
was written a place of considerable trade, the great 
and legal mart^^ for the commerce of the West, a city 
therefore which would probably avail itself with eager- 
ness of any opportunity for assuring its friendly rela- 
tions with its great customer, Eome ; and to it I should 
be inclined to refer our embassy. But when we re- 
member that Damascenus miscalls it, and that Strabo 
copies and does not correct him and never himself 
notices the place, we may well doubt whether in the 
times we are speaking of it was frequented by Greeks, 
or better known to them than the other commercial 
ports on the same part of the coast.^^ And except 

it, Epi de avrri (Inest huic region!) Kai €| avaroXris ttoXis Xeyofiivrj 

OfrjrTj €v 7j Kttt ra I3aai\€ia irporepov i)v, act) 7]S iravra €ts Bapvya'^a 

Karacpeperai, § 48. 

37 Forbes in tlie plates to his Oriental Memoirs, gives a statue 
of Buddha (he calls it of Paravant) which he saw at Cambay, and 
of Buddhist figures on columns at Salsette. Hiouen Thsang, in 
noticing the state of Buddhism in Barygaza and Ougein, speaks 
of it as on the decline, iii, 154, as flourishing in Guzerat, i6., 165, 
and in the Konkan, ih., 147. 

88 Not always so. The Periplus tells us that KaWieva (hodie 
Calliani non longe a Bombay distans) cTrt twv 'S.apayovov rov trpea- 
fivTfpov XPO^of' €fji,iropiov yevofievov. fiera yap to Karaax^^v aim]v l,av- 
SavTjv €Kw\v6rj eirt ttoXu, Kai yap ta €K ivxvs fis tovtovs rovs ronovs 
fiafiaWovTa irXoia 'E\\7}viKa fura (pvKaKTjs €is Bapvya^a €i<Tay€Tai. § ^ 
with the note. 

39 See preceding note. 

G 



82 THE INDIAN EMBASSY 

that one of its citizens was in the ambassadorial suite, 
I do not think it can show any special claim to our 
embassy. 

Who our Greeks were we may more accurately 
determine. After the destruction of the Persian Empire, 
the two great Western marts for the produce of India 
were Palmyra and Alexandria. But with regard to 
Palmyra — 

I. Its distance from the Peninsula of India was too 
short, and the route through the Persian Gulf and up 
the Euphrates too direct to admit of a journey so long, 
that from the mere time it occupied as hinted by 
Damascenus several of the ambassadors should have 
died on the road. 

II. Palmyra at this period still retained its national 
character and civilization and was essentially a Syrian 
republic. It had not yet merged into that Graeco- 
Eoman city which it became after the time of Trajan, 
and which its ruins and the legends on its coins and 
the names of some of its citizens illustrate.*^ Greek 
and Eoman residents it no doubt admitted, but 
they could have been neither numerous enough nor 
powerful enough to have organised and forwarded our 
embassy. 

III. Paliiiyra, situated in the desert some eighty 
miles from the Euphrates, was pre-eminently an inland 

^^ For this account of Palmyra I have consulted Pliny, Hist. 
Nat., V, 21 j Gibbon's Eoman Empire, c. xi, vol. i; Heeren's Manual 
of Ant. Hist., pp. 348, 57 ; the Art. Zenobia, Smith's Gk. and 
Eom. Biog. Diet., and the Articles Palmyra by Fliigel, and Paliio- 
graphie, iv, by Gesenius, in Ersch. und Griiber's Encyclopedic. 



TO AUGUSTUS. 83 

town. Its citizens and resident strangers were mer- 
cliants, warehousemen, carriers, agents, but they as- 
suredly were not seafaring men; they possessed no 
ships, and received the produce of India through the 
Arabs, whose vessels delivered it at Sura or Thapsacus ^ 
on the Euphrates whence it was brought on camels to 
Palmyra. They neither had nor could have any direct 
intercourse with India, and without such an intercourse 
our embassy is not conceivable. 

IV. Palmyra is not likely to have encouraged any 
Indian embassy to the Eoman Emperor. It was a free 
city.*^ Its inhabitants had not forgotten the designs of 
Antony and the dangers they had but lately escaped,'*^ 
and it is not probable that they would now of their 
own free will call Eoman attention to their wealth, and 
place the Indians from whom they derived it in direct 
communication with their own best customers. Througli 
Palmyra this embassy could not have made its way to 
Augustus. 

We turn now to the Greeks of Alexandria. Alex- 
andria with a population made up of about every 
nation under the sun was essentially a Greek city. It 

*^ Palmyra — velut terris exempta a rerum naturd privatd sorte, 
inter duo imperia summa, Romanorum Parthorumque, et prima in 
discordia semper utrumque cura. Plin. ut snpra — privata sorte, 
sui juris. 

^2 Antony sent out a body of cavalry to surprise and plunder 
Palmyra, fUKpa fxev eniKaKcov avrois, 6ti VufiOLKav Kai Tlapdvaiuv ov7es 
€(f)opioi, es (KUTcpovs firiSf^icos n-X^v, efJLiropoi yap ovres KOfxi^ovai fxiv e/c 
Tlfporujv TO Iv^iKO, rri Apa^ia Siarid^vTai 5' ev rr) Fufxaicov. — Appian de 
Bell. Civ., V, ix. Appian attributes this expedition to a desire for 
plunder only. I suspect it was rather undertaken in the interests '^ 
of Alexandria. 



84- THE INDIAN ExMBASSY 

carried on a large, profitable and increasing trade witli 
the East.*^ And though at the period of our embassy its 
merchants seldom ventured beyond the Arab Ports of 
Cane and Aden/* where they traded for the products 
and manufactures of India, they nevertheless occa- 
sionally sailed for the Indian Seas, and made their way 
even to the Ganges. And as they then interfered with 
the Arab monopoly, they saw themselves every where 
jealously watched and opposed by the Arabs, every 
where treated as interlopers, and had every where to 
encounter the persecutions of an excited populace.*^ 
Only in some of the smaller and therefore neglected 
l^orts, could they find opportunity and permission to 
trade. And then how eagerly would they lay before 
the authorities the advantages of a direct trade ! They 
would show them the prices asked and obtained by the 
Arabs for Hindu and Greek commodities, and point out 
how of the profits the Arabs carried away the lion's 
share. And if they fell in with some Eajah of the 
Buddhist faith — a faith without the prejudices of race, 
proselytising, catholic — and not averse to travel, they 
surely would easily persuade him, as in after times the 
Eajah of Ceylon was persuaded, to further and attempt 

^3 Strabo states that in the time of the Ptolemies, some twenty 
ships only (xvii, L. i, c. 130) ventured to cross the Indian seas, 
but that the trade had so greatly increased that he himself saw at 
Myos Hormos one hundred and twenty ships destined for India, 
L. ii, V, c. 12 §. 

44 Vincent's Commerce of the Antients, ii, 53, and Periplus, 
C.27. 

45 Just as the Arabs stirred up the populace of Calecut against 
the Portuguese on their first attempts at trade in Calecut. Maffei, 
Hist. India, pp. 49, 52, 114 ; conip. p. 24. 



TO AUGUSTUS. 85 

to assure the direct trade by an embassy, the details of 
which a small Prince would willingly leave to them. 

But besides this commercial interest common to both 
peoples, the Greeks of Alexandria had an interest of 
their own in getting up this embassy. In the great 
civil war but just concluded they had been partisans of 
Antony, they had fought in his ranks and were the 
last to yield after his defeat. They had to conciliate 
the favour of the conqueror. But they were no vulgar 
flatterers, theirs was not that adulation which repeats 
ever tlie same cuckoo note of praise. They studied 
their man and to his temper and character adapted 
their tone. To the literary Claudius they devoted a 
new room in their Museum,*^ and placed his works 
among their class-books. The theatre-circus-loving 
Nero they wheedled by hired bands of artistic claqueurs}'^ 
And the usurpation of the plebeian Vespasian they 
sanctioned by endowing him with miraculous powers.**^ 

4S Denique et Grsecas scripsit historias— Quarum caussa veteri 
AlexandriseMuseo alterum additum exipsius nomine ; institutumque 
ut quotannis in altero Typprji'tfcwj/ liberi, altero Kapxri^oviaKwv, diebus 
statutis, velut in auditorio recitarentur. — Suetonii Claud., c. 42. 

'*' "Captus autem modulatis Alexandrianorum laudationibus, 
qui de novo commeatu Neapolim confluxerunt, plures Alexandria 
evocavit." — 16., Nero, c. 20. 

48 Auctoritas et quasi majestas qusedam, ut scilicet inopinato et 
adhuc novo Principi deerat : hsec quoque accessit. E plebe quidam 
luminibus orbatus, item alius debili crure, sedentem — adierunt, 
orantes opem valetudinis, demonstratam a Serapide per quietem. 
Cum vix fides esset — ideoque ne experiri quidem audiret, hortan- 
tibus amicis palam pro concione utrumque tentavit, nee eventus 
defuit. — Id.y Vespasianus, c. 7. Tacitus gives the miracles; but 
in Tacitus, Vespasian is only mystified. Hist., iv, 81. Dio Cassius, 
after mentioning the miracles, describes the disappointment of 



86 THE INDIAN EMBASSY 

How now would such a people seek to win over tlie 
politic Augustus ? Tliey bring to liis feet tliese Indian 
ambassadors, and thus raise him to a rivalship with 
Alexander. That he was too wise and far-seeing to be 
himself deceived is probable enough, but is no valid 
objection. What cared he that the crown was of 
copper-gilt and the robes of tinsel, provided that the 
plaudits were real ? The object of the Alexandrians 
was not to impose on him, but to gain his favour by 
enabling him to impose on the Eoman people ; and that 
they fully succeeded Eoman history sufficiently testifies. 
In conclusion, I thus explain and account for our 
embassy. In the Northern half of the Indian Penin- 
sula Greek merchants in their intercourse with a 
Hindu Eaja often press upon his notice the greatness 
and wealth of their metropolis, and insist upon the 
advantages which he and his country would derive 
from more intimate commercial relations with it. They 
advise an embassy, and offer a passage in their ship for 
the ambassadors and for such presents as they can con- 
veniently carry and he conveniently send. The Eaja 
is persuaded. In due course the embassy arrives at 
Alexandria, and for Alexandria only it may have been 
originally intended. But the Alexandrians alive to 
their own interests quickly forward it on to Augustus, 
and give it weight and dignity by affixing to the Greek 
letter with which they provide it a well-known and 
time-honoured name. The presents they leave un- 
changed, aware that the travel-worn ambassadors, 

the Alexandrians who expected favour, and only got increased 
taxation. 



TO AUGUSTUS. 87 

whose home is so distant that some of them have died 
on their way to Caesar, will impress the imagination 
more strongly than heaps of barbaric pearl and gold. 

While I offer this explanation, I do not pretend that 
it is entirely satisfactory, "refutation-tight;" enough if 
it seems to others as to me, less improbable, less open 
to objection, more simple and more in accordance with 
the facts given, than others. 



ON THE 

SECOND INDIAN EMBASSY TO EOME. 



ON THE 

SECOND INDIAN EMBASSY TO EOME* 



The second Indian embassy to Eome was tlie result of 
an accident. Pliny tells the story thus. A freedman 
of one Annius Plocamus, while in the Eed Sea collect- 
ing the tolls and customs farmed of Claudius by his 
patron, was caught in a gale of wind, driven past 
Carmania, and on the fifteenth day carried into 
Hippuros, a port of Ceylon. Here, though his ship 
with its contents seems to have been seized and confis- 
cated to the king's use,^ he himself was kindly and 
hospitably treated. In six months' time he learned the 
language. Admitted to familiar intercourse with the 
king,2 in answer to his questions to told him of Kome 

* Pliny, Nat. Hist., vi. 24. 

^ Not expressly stated in tlie text, but surmised from an expres- 
sion subsequently used, "denarii in captiva pecunia." — Pliny, 
Hist. Nat., vi, 1, c 24. 

2 So Sopater, and the Aditulani, his companions, a.d. 500, on 
tbeir arrival in Ceylon are carried by the chiefs and custom-house 
officers to the king, as was the custom : Kara to iOos ol apxovres km 
ol rehwvai Se^ajxevoi tovtovs aTro<}}€pov<Ti nrpot rov /SacriAea. Cosmas 
Indicop. ; Montfaucon, N. Coll, ; Patrum, i, p. 338. So of Sinbad 
when found stranded on Ceylon, " the people talked together, and 
said *We must take him with us, and present him to our king.'" — 
Lane's Arabian Nights, p. 70, iii. Of this custom, however, I find 
no trace whatever in the travels of Fa-hian, early part of fifth cen- 
tury, or of Hiouen Thsang, seventh century. 



92 THE SECOND INDIAN 

and of Caesar. In these conversations and from some 
denarii which had been found in the Eoman ship, and 
which from the heads upon them had evidently been 
coined at different times and by different persons, and 
which nevertheless were all of the same weight,^ the 
Sinhalese monarch learned to appreciate Eoman 
justice. He became desirous of entering into alliance 
with Eome, and for that purpose sent thither one 
Eachias with three other ambassadors from whom as he 
intimates Pliny* derived that fuller and more accurate 
information with respect to Ceylon which he has em- 
bodied in his Natural History. 

They stated that in Taprobane were five hundred 
towns :^ that in the south was situated Palissemundus, 

3 The next time we hear of Eomans at the Sinhalese Court, 
Eoman money then, as now, played its part. It seems that when 
Sopater was presented, a Persian Ambassador was presented with 
him. The Sinhalese monarch, after the first salutations, asked 
whose was the most powerful sovereign. The Persian hurried on 
to assert the wealth and superiority of the great king. Sopater 
appealed to the coins of both people. The Eoman money, and 
Sopater had only choice pieces with him, was of gold, bright, well 
rounded, and of (a musical ring ?) Xafinpou, ev/jLopcpov, (vpoi^ov, the 
Persian was of small pieces of silver. The king examines the coins, 
and decides in favour of the Eomans, who he declares are a wise, 
illustrious, and powerful people. — Cosmas in loc. cit. In another 
place, p. 148, he speaks of the excellence and universal use of 
Eoman money. 

* " Hactenus a priscis memorata : nobis diligentior notitia ., 
Contigit legatis etiam ex insu la advectis...Ex iis cognitum". — 
Pliny, u. s. 

5 '* An evident exaggeration'*, says Lassen, " but one fostered by 
the native books". Thus the Eajavalli (Tennent's Ceylon, i, 422) 
gives in a.d. 1301 to Ceylon 1,400,000 villages ; but as the same 
work states that Dutugamini built " 900,000 houses of earth, and 



EMBASSY TO KOME. 93 

the capital,^ with its harbour and royal residence of two 
hundred thousand inliabitants -J that inland was a lake, 
Megisba, three hundred and seventy-five miles round, 
and studded here and there with grass islands ; and 
that from this lake two rivers issued, of which the one 
took a northerly course and was called the Cydara, 
while the other, the Palissemundus, flowed by the city 
of that name, and fell into the sea in three streams — 
the broadest fifteen, the narrowest five stadia across. 
They said that Cape Coliacum was the point of land 
nearest to India, that four days'^ sail from it was the Sun 

8,000,000 houses whicli were covered with tiles." — (Upham, Sacred 
Books of Ceylon, p. 222, iii), and this, though some fifty years after 
a forest still existed at the gates of Anarajapura (Mahawanso, 
p. 203), the authority is of no great weight. I am inclined to 
think with Hamilton, that the population of Ceylon was never 
greater than at present. — Geog. Desc. of Hindostan, ii, 469. 

^ Cosmas, sixth century, places the great mart and harbour in 
the south. Of the two kings of the island, he says " 6 ets exc^v rov 
vaKivBov, kai ^repos to fxepos ro aWo ev cp can to ffxiropiop Kai 6 Ai/xTjf 
fjLcya 5e eaTi Kai rcov (Keiaiv e/xiTopiov, lb. 337. Here Sopater probably 
landed. Fa-hian, early part of the fifth century, and Hiouen 
Thsang on the other hand, celebrate the capital of the Hyacin- 
thine king ; Fa-hian, p. 334, its streets and public buildings and 
fine houses ; Hiouen Thsang its viharas and their wonders, ii, 
143-4. Marco Polo, thirteenth century, describes the hyacinthine 
stone : •* Et si a le roy de ceste isle, un rubis le plus bel et le plus 
gros qui soit en monde ; et vous disay comment il est fait. II 
est long bien une grant paume, et bien gros tant comme est gros 
le bras d'un homme. H est la plus resplendissant chose du monde 
^ veoir ; et n'a nulle tache. 1\ est vermeil comme feu." — p. 586, 
ed. Pauthier. 

7 "Portum contra meridiem appositum oppido Palissemundo, 
omnium ibi clarissimo et regiam cc. mille plebis."— Pliny, i, 1, c. 

8 Hiouen Thsang relates, that when he first heard of Ceylon, he 
heard also that to reach it from India no long sea voyage was ne- 
cessary, but then one " pendant laquelle les vents contraires, les 



94 THE SECOND INDIAN 

Island^ in mid-cliannel, and tliat the sea there was very 
green and full of trees/^ the tops of which were often 
broken off by the rudders of passing ships. They ad- 
mitted that with them the moon was only visible from 
the eighth to the sixteenth day ; and while they won- 
dered at our Great Bear and Pleiades as constellations 
of another heaven, they boasted of their Canopus, a 
great and brilliant star. But what of all things most 
astonished^^ them was that their shadows fell in the 
direction of our and not their hemisphere, and that the 
sun with us rose on the left and set on the right hand, 
just the contrary of what took place with them. They 
calculated that that side of their island which lies 
opposite to the south-east coast of India was ten thou- 



flots impetueux et Yakshas demons vous exposeraient a mille dan- 
gers. II vaut mieux partir de la pointe sud-est de I'lnde meri- 
dionale ; de cette maniere on peut y arriver par eaux dans Tespace 
de trois jours." — Vie et Ouvrages de Hiouen Thsang, tr. Julien, p. 
183. In the time of Ibn Batuta, 1334, between Bakala "on the 
coast of Ceylon and the Malabar districts, Coromandel coast, there 
is a voyage of one day and one night." — Travels, p. 184. 

9 Identified by Tennent with the Island of Delft. — Ceylon, ii, 
550; by Vincent with Manaar or Eamana-KoU, Periplus, ii, 492. 

1*^ So also Megasthenes describes the Indian seas, " Meyaadepiju 
Se rov TU IvSiKa y€ypa<pQTa iaropeiv iv rr) Kara rrjv IuSiktju QaKarrri 
Sevdpa ^veaeai."—Fvsig. Hist. Gvudc, ii, p. 413, 1755. The sea in 
these parts is described as very green and full of coral, and " on 
the purity of the water and on the coral groves which rise in the 
clear blue depths," Sir Emerson Tennent {ut supra, p. 555) dwells 
with delight. 

^1 *' Septentriones.,.miraba7i<Mr...sed maxime mirum iis.. .um- 
bras suas in nostrum caelum cadere." This " mirabantur" and 
"mirum iis" Windt observes, would lead one to suppose that 
Pliny had himself received this information direct from the inter- 
preter. — Windt, Ceylon, p. 103. 



EMBASSY TO EOME. 95 

sand stadia, or about twelve hundred and fifty miles, in 
length.^2 xiiey told also of the Seras,^^ who dwelt be- 
yond the Montes Emodi, and whom the father of 
Eachias had visited, and who would trade with and 
show themselves to their people ; they described them 
as tall, red-haired,^* blue eyed, rough-voiced, and with 

^2 Onesicritus, ov SiopLo-as firiKos oi/Se irXaros, witliout stating" whe- 
ther he refers them to its length or breadth, estimates Ceylon, 
says Strabo (xv, I, § 15) at five thousand stadia, or six hundred 
and twenty-miles. Vincent, however, is of opinion that these five 
thousand stadia were intended by Onesicritus as the measure, not 
of either the length or breadth of the island, but of its circum- 
ference, six hundred and sixty miles, which they not very inaccu- 
rately represent. But how then get over the fact that Onesicritus 
places Ceylon at twenty days sail from the continent ? besides, we 
we have no evidence— I put aside that of Solinus (Polyhist., c. 53) 
— that he ever visited it, and he must, therefore, like Eratosthenes, 
have derived his knowledge of it from the Hindoos, whose fabulous 
accounts of its size obtained so late as the days of Marco Polo 
(Vincent, ut supra, p. 499), and spread even to China: "Son 
etendue du nord en sud est d' environ two thousand lis," i. e., five 
hundred miles. 

^3 In his fiftieth chapter Solinus, borrowing from Pliny (vi, 20), 
notices the leading customs of the Seres— and as they are the 
same as those here given to the Serse, and as the names of the 
peoples are similar, he evidently identifies them, for in his chapter 
on Taprobane (53) he omits as superfluous all mention of the Serse 
and their customs, but shows their neighbourhood to Ceylon by 
observing that its inhabitants " cernunt latus Sericum de mon- 
tium suorum jugis." 

1* Solinus u. s. applies this description to the Sinhalese them- 
selves, and attributes the red hair to a dye, " crines fuco imbuunt.*' 
I have followed my text and given it to the Serse— thus distinguish- 
ing them from the Seres of Pliny, whom, if Chinese, this description 
will scarcely suit — for they, the Chinese, call themselves the 
'* Blackheads" (Morrison's tr. from the Chinese Official Eeports, 
p. 28, note), and of them black hair is so decided a characteristic 
that Eemusat somewhere concludes that the Japanese, because 



96 THE SECOND INDIAN 

no intelligible language. In other respects their ac- 
counts tallied with those of our own merchants ; as that, 
e,g., in trading with the Serse, the merchant crossed 
over to the further bank of one of their rivers, and, 
having there laid out his merchandise, retired. The 
Seree then came forward, and placed opposite it such 
and so much of their goods as they deemed it worth, 
and these goods, if the trader was satisfied, he took 
away, and the bargain was concluded.^^ 

In Ceylon gold and silver are prized, marble varie- 
gated like the shell of the tortoise and gems and 
pearls are much esteemed ; slavery is unknown ;^^ and 



their hair is not black but rather of a deep brown blue, must be 
of a diflFerent race. 

1^ So Joinville (As. Ees., 484, ii) describes the veddah of Ceylon: 
"When he wants an iron tool or a lance... he places in the night 
before the door of a smith some money or game, together with a 
model of what he requires. In a day or two he returns and finds 
the instrument he has demanded.'* See also Knox, Hist. Relations, 
pt. II, c. i, p. 123 ; Eibeyro, quoted by Tennent, ii, p. 593 ; and 
Tennent's Ceylon, ii, p. 437, where the subject is exhausted. 
Matouanlin, ut supra, p. 42, ascribes this mode of barter to the 
demons, the primaeval inhabitants of Ceylon : " lis ne laissaient 
pas voir leurs corps, et montraient au moyen de pierres precieuses 
le prix que pouvaient valoir les marchandises," and borrows its 
account probably from Fa-hian, who writes : " Quand le tems de 
ce commerce etait venu, les genies et les demons ne paraissaient 
pas, mais ils mettaient en avant des choses precieuses," p. 332. 
Similar modes of barter, as prevailing on the Libyan shore, are 
described by Herodotus, 1. iv, c. 196 j in Sasus on the African 
coast, by Indicopleustes, ut supra, p. 139 ; and in the interior of 
Africa in the present day, by Speke (Adventures among the 
Somali, June or July number of Blackwood, 1860). 

16 So Arrian, of India, c. x : " Eti'at 5e Kai rode fxeya (v tt? Ivduv 7-77, 
Travras IvZovs eivai €\iv6epov9, ovde riva 5ov\oy eivai lv5ov...AaKi8aifioviois 



EMBASSY TO HOME. 97 

no man sleeps either after daybreak or during the day.^^ 
The houses are low ; ^^ the price of corn never varies ;^^ 
and there are neither courts of law nor law- suits. Her- 
cules is the patron god of the island. The government 
is an elective monarchy, and the king is chosen by the 
people for his age and clemency, but he must be child- 
less ; and should a child be born to him after his elec- 
tion he is obliged to abdicate, lest the crown should 
become hereditary.^^ He is assisted by a council of 
thirty also chosen by popular suffrage, which, but only 
by the vote of an absolute majority, has the power of 
death ; against its sentence however there is an appeal 
to the people, who then appoint seventy judges specially 
to try the case. If these set aside the judgment of the 
council its members are for ever deprived of their rank 
and publicly disgraced. For his faults the king may be 



fi€P ye oi 'EXoDTes SouXoi €iaiP...li^doiai 5e owSe aWos dovKos €«TTt, ^17x0176 

IvSwV TIS. 

1' Not probable. See Tennent's description of mid-day, ii, pp. 
255-6. 

18 So ^lian, evidently from Eratosthenes, says the houses are 
of wood and reeds, areyas de exovaiv ck ^vXcou 8e 'triiroirjfiivas tjStj Se 
Kai BovaKwv. — De Nat. Animal., L. xvi, c. xvii. 

19 "Depuis I'origine de ce royaume," says Fa-bian, *'il n'y a 
jamais eu de famine, de disette, de calamites, ni de troubles." — 
Foe-koue-ke, p. 334 ; Hiouen Tbsang similarly speaks of its abun- 
dant harvests, ii, p. 125. 

20 Stronger in Solinus, ut supra, " In regis electione non nobi- 
litas prsevalet sed suffragium universorum," and afterwards, in 
reference to his having children, " etiam si rex maximam praeferat 
sequitatem nolunt se tantum licere." There is, however, in the 
Appendix to Taylor's Oriental MSS., p. 47, a long list of Sinhalese 
kings, though belonging to a later age, who all seem to have died 
childless. 



98 THE SECOND INDIAN 

punished and with death. All avoid him and converse 
with him, and thus though no man kills him he dies of 
inanition. The king wears a robe much like that given 
to Bacchus ; the people dress Arab fashion. They are 
industrious cultivators of the soil, and have all fruits in 
abundance, except grapes. They spend their festal days 
in the chase, and prefer that of the elephant and tiger.^^ 
They take great pleasure in fishing, especially for turtle, 
which are so large that the shell of one is a house for a 
family.^^ They count a hundred years as but a mode- 
rate life for a man. Thus much has been learned and 
ascertained concerning Taprobane. 

To fix the precise date of this embassy is impossible. 
But because it was an embassy accredited and pre- 
sented to Claudius, it must have taken place during his 
reign, i.e. some time between a.d. 41 and 54. And 

^^ iElian speaks of the size of the Sinhalese elephants, and how 
they are hunted by the people of the interior, and are transported 
to the continent in big ships and are sold to the king of Calinga, 
ut supra, c. cxviii. Tigers were however unknown in Ceylon, 
though Knox says, " there was a black tygre catched and brought 
to the king.. .there being no more either before or since heard of 
in that land," I. c. vi, p. 40; Ptolemy, VII §, gives tigers to 
Ceylon; Lassen, Ind. Alterthumskunde, thinks leopards were 
meant, I., p. 198, note 1 ; see also Hist, of Ceylon by Philalethes, 
c. xliii; and Ellis, of the leopards in Africa, "which are called 
tigers," Madagascar, p. 223. 

22 JElian, ut supra, c. xvii, tells of these enormous turtles, how 
that the shell is fifteen cubits and makes a roof which quite keeps 
off the sun's heat and the rain's wet, and is better than any tile. 
Let me add, that among other sea monsters which according to 
the same authority frequent the Sinhalese coast we find the ori- 
ginal mermaid, but without her beautiful hair, Kai ywaiKcov o\l/iv 
eyovaiv, aiairtp avri TrXoKafiuv aKavdat irpoarjpTTjPTai, 1. xvi, c. xviii, 
§30. 



EMBASSY TO ROME. 99 

because it is not mentioned, nor in any way alluded to, 
by Pomponius Mela, we conclude that it reached Eome 
subsequently to the publication of his Geography, 
which appeared certainly after a.d. 43, and probably 
before a.d. 47.^^ And moreover because it is unrecorded 
by any political writer, because it is in fact known to 
us only from this account of Pliny^* and his copyist 
Solinus (a.d. 400), we presume that it reached Eome 
when other and more interesting events, Messalina's 
violent death or the daring intrigues of Agrippina, 
engTOSsed men's minds, during the latter and more 
troubled years of Claudius' life ; and that it left Ceylon 
in the reign of Chandra Muka Siwa^^ who according to 
the Mahawanso ascended the throne a.d. 44 and died 
A.D. 52. 

The Eoman galley was carried into Hippuros. Hip- 
puros has been identified with the Ophir of Solomon, 
and is in fact, according to Bochart,^^ Ophir disguised 



^ After 43 a.d., because he notices the triumph of Claudius for 
his expedition to Britain : " Quippe tamdiu clausam (Britanniam) 
aperit, ecce principum maximus...qui propriarum rerum fidem ut 
bello affectavit, ita triumpho declaraturus portat." — Geog., Ill, 
vi, § 35. And before 47 a.d., because he nowhere alludes to the 
great discovery of Hippalus. 

24 It is not impossible that Pliny may have derived his informa- 
tion directly from the ambassadors, as he returned to Eome from 
Germany, a.d. 52.— Smith, Greek and Eoman Biographical Diet., 
art. Pliny. 

25 Vide Mahawanso's List of Kings in the Appendix, Ixii; and 
Tennent's Ceylon, i, p. 321. 

26 Geographia Sacra, Phaleg lib. II, c. xxvii j and Chanaan, lib. 
I, c. xlvi, p. 691, though indeed he believes in two Ophirs, this 
one and another in Arabia. 



100 THE SECOND INDIAN 

by the pronunciation of uneducated Greek sailors. 
And if Hippuros be Ophir, Galle may very well be 
Tarshisb, as Sir Emerson Tennent seems inclined to 
believe.-'' But as Ophir and Tarshish are intimately 
associated with the trade in gold and silver ;^ and as 
gold and silver can scarcely be said to be products of 
Ceylon,^^ it follows that Ophir and Tarshish, if Sinha- 
lese ports, must have been ports carrying on a great 
trade not only with Phoenicia, but with other and gold- 
producing or gold-exporting countries, and a trade of a 
magnitude and a character which presupposes a certain, 
and even considerable, civilisation. But, according to 
the Sinhalese books, it was not until the conquest of 
Wijayo,^^ B.C. 543, some four hundred years after 

^ Ceylon, Preface to 3rd edit., pp. xx, xxi, and p. 102, II, and 
also note 1, p. 554, v. I. 

28 <' And king Solomon made a navy of ships in Ezion-geber" (1 
Kings, ix, 26). "And he (Jehoshaphat) joined himself with him 
(Ahaziah) to make ships to go to Tarshish" ^^2 Chron. xx, 38). 
" For the king had at sea a navy of Tarshish... once in three years 
came the navy of Tarshish bringing gold and silver, ivory, apes, 
and peacocks" (1 Kings, x, 22). From these passages it would 
seem as if Tarshish were a great mart, all the commerce of which 
was carried on by the ships of those nations who traded with it. 
But as Psalm xl, written subsequently to David's time (v. 9), 
gives ships also to Tarshish : " Thou breakest the ships of Tar- 
shish with an east wind," and Ezekiel, B.C. 588, " the ships of 
Tarshish did sing of thee in thy markets" (xxvii, 25), it seems 
that with its great trade it did in the course of years itself possess 
them, unless indeed ships of Tarshish mean great ships merely. 

29 "Gold is found in minute particles but the quantity has 

been too trivial to reward the search its occurrence as well 

as that of silver and copper is recorded in the Mahawanso as a 
aairaculous manifestation." — Tennent, Ceylon, p. 29, I, v. 

*^ " 'this prince, named Wijayo, who had then attained the 



EMBASSY TO EOME. 101 

the building of Solomon's temple and about forty years 
after Ezekiel had celebrated the fleets of Tarshish, that 
Ceylon was opened to the influence of civilisation. Before 
that time its inhabitants were, as their descendants the 
Veddahs still are/^ a barbarous and unimprovable race, 
to whom all commerce was hateful, and who were not 
likely therefore to have founded Ophir and Tarshish. 

But may not Ophir and Tarshish though Sinhalese 
IDorts have been founded and colonised by some other 
people ? But what people ? That the people were not 
Phoenicians the terms in which our Scripture speaks of 
them sufficiently indicate ; and that they -cdilid; not* 
have been either northern Hindus or Tamils we con- 
clude, in the one case from the otherwise, iuo'tpiicsibje 
silence of the Mahawanso, and in the other from its 
account of the Tamil invasions and their results.^^ But 
what is it that we do know of Ophir and Tarshish ? 
Of Ophir, that it exported largely, and raw produce 
only, gold and precious woods and stones ; of Tarshish 
that the fleets which traded with it from the West 
sailed from a port in the Eed Sea, that the voyage out 
and home took up three years, and that the return 
cargoes were of gold and silver, ivory, apes and pea- 
cocks. It seems moreover that ivory, apes and peacocks 
are indigenous to India and that the words used in 

wisdom of experience, landed in the division Tambapanni, of this 
land Lanka, on the day that the successors of former Buddhas 
reclined in the arbor of the two delightful sal-trees to attain nib- 
banam." — b.c. 543, A. B. I, Mahawanso, p. 47, Tumour's tr. 

31 Tennent's Ceylon. On the Veddahs, p. 437, II, v. 

82 Vide Tennent, Ceylon. On the Sinhalese Chronicles, pp. 
397, 413, I. V. 



102 THE SECOND INDIAN 

Hebrew to designate tliem are not Hebrew but Tamil 
words.^^ But in the great mart of Tarshish where mer- 
chants from the east and west were wont to congregate, 
what more natural than that there the productions 
peculiar to any country should retain their natural 
name, which they as naturally carried away with them 
to their new habitat? And we conclude that these 
Tamil words point to a trade between Tarshish and 
Southern India and induce us to look to Southern 
India for Ophir, but do not help us to identify Tarshish. 
Hippuros : Lassen identifies it with the headland at 
tiie' soijithern extremity of the Arippo-aar, called Kudra- 
jaiale/^ tlie Horse-mount, of which Hippuros is but the 
G&^^ek: ec^uivalent.^^ Simple and natural as this identifi- 
cation is, I should have preferred one based on phonetic 
grounds. For among the towns on the Malabar coast I 
find that Ptolemy ^^ places a Hippocura. I observe 
also that some few divine or descriptive names^^ ex- 

*3 Id., II, 102. Sandal wood. Almug trees, Sans, moclia, with 
Arab. art. al. Peacocks, Heb. Tukeyim, Malabar, Togei. Ape, 
Heb. Koph: Sans, and Malabar, Kapi: Greek, Ktjtto? and Ktj/Sos: 
(Gesenius, Opbir, Ersch und Gruber, Ency.) Assyrian, Gupi, Lenor- 
mant, Zeitscbrift f. JEgypt. Sprache, p. 24. 

34 The name, as accounted for in a Hindu Hist, of Ceylon, trans- 
lated in the 24th vol. of the Asiatic Journal, seems to be not a 
descriptive but a mythic name. " A certain chitty setting out for 
the purpose of pearl fishing drifted near a mountain, which he 
called Coodiremale," p. 53, in honour probably of the horse-faced 
princess (mentioned ih., p. 16) who, bathing in one of the wells 
there, lost her horse face. 

35 Lassen's Indische Alterthumskunde, iii, p. 217; and his de 
Taprobane Insula Veteribus cognita, p. 22. 

^ Geographia, lib. vii, c. i, p. 168. 

37 Thus Indra becomes Zeus, Siva Dionysos, Lassen, ib., iii, p. 
219. And {ib., p. 6) where he enumerates the towns and harbours 
on the coast, and observes on the Greek names by which they 



EMBASSY TO ROME. 1U3 

cepted, Greek traders did not translate but merely 
adapted the native names to tlieir own pronunciation 
and idiom. And I am not a little surprised that this 
freedman who so correctly renders the compound 
Kudramale should according to Lassen's own showing 
seem quite unaware that Kachias, a simple word and in 
common use, is not a name but a title and one borne 
by the members of the royal family.^^ But whether 
Kudramale or some other port, Hippuros was probably 
situated in the north of Ceylon ; because to the north 
of Ceylon a vessel cruising off the Persian gulf and 
caught in a northerly gale and driven southward till it 
fell in with the spring or south-west monsoon would 
by the winds and currents be naturally driven. 

" Taprobane," Sanscrit " Tamraparni," Pali " Tamba- 
panni,"^^ the red leaf. Thus Wijayo the first Hindu 

were known, as Naustathmos, Byzantion, Triglyphon, he adduces 
but one Theophila— now Surdhaur, Sans. Suradara, i. e., God- 
worshipping— which is possibly the Greek translation of a Hindu 
name. Of descriptive names we have the Panjaub " Pentapotamoi," 
Tadmor " Palmyra," etc. 

38 " Da dieser Name am passendsten durch Eagan konig erklart 
wird, und dieses Wort auch fiir Manner aus dem koniglichen 
Geschlichte gebraucht werden kann, so gehorte Eachias wohl zur 
familie des konigs und wir erfahren somit nicht seinen Eigenna- 
men," ib., iii, p. 61. See, however, Tennent, Ceylon, vol. i, p. 
556, note 2, who suggests that " Eachias" may be " Eackha," a 
Lame of some renown in Sinhalese annals. 

^ Lassen de Taprobane, pp. 6, 8 ; but from " Tamra," red, and 
" pan'i," a hand, according to the Mahawanso, a derivation which 
Lassen rejects as un grammatical, but which the Mahawanso, p. 
50, confirms, by telling that when Wijayo and his men "had landed, 
supporting themselves on the palms of their hands pressed on the 
ground, they sat down. Hence to thera the name Tambapannyo, 
copper-palmed," and to the wilderness the name of Tambapanni, 
and afterwards to the country. 



104 THE SECOND INDIAN 

settler called that part of Ceylon where he landed, and 
the city which he afterwards built. This name in the 
course of time was applied to the whole island ; and as it 
is the only name known to the companions of Alexander, 
and is the name by which Ceylon is designated in the 
inscriptions of Asoka,*^ it must early have supplanted 
even among the Hindus the old mythological one of 
Lanka. Subsequently, when our ambassadors lived 
and when the Periplus was written, it seems to have 
become obsolete, and to have been superseded by that, 
of Palaesimundus or rather Palaesimoundou*^ which 
itself yielded to Salike, Serendiva/^ — the Serendib of 

40 Lassen de Tap., p. 9, and Wilson's tr. of tlie Kapur di Giri 
Inscription (p. 169, XII, J. Eoy. As. Soc), with his observations, p. 
167, on the identification of Tamrapani. 

4^ Els irehayos e/c/fejTai irpos avTTji^ ttjv Zvariv vr\(ros XcyofXivri UaXaicri- 
fiovvdov ttapa Se rots apxaiois avTwv TairpoBavT] {Scrip. Mar. Eryth., c.61, 
p. 301, 1, V, Geog. Grsec. Minores, ed. Miiller), perhaps so called after 
the best known capital ; for Marsden observes that by a mistake 
not unusual, the name of a principal town is sometimes substituted 
for that of the country. 

4^ Ptolemy, A.d. 160, Tairpo^apri 7]ris eKoXetro TroAoi SiMowSoy, vvv Se 
^a\iK7j. Kai oi KarexoPTes avry\v koivoos ^a\ai. — Geog., 1, VII, C. iv. But 
Marcianus, early part of the fifth century, who borrowed largely 
from Ptolemy, thus : Tairpo^avrj vricros irporepov fxev €KaXeiro TlaXaicri- 
fiovvSov vvv Se 2aAt/fj]. — Perip. Maris Ext., I, c. 35. Ammianus 
Marcellinus, a.d. 361, on Julian's accession : " Legationes undique 
concurrebant, nationibus Indicis certatim cum donis optimates 
mittentibus...abusque Divis et Serendivis, xxii, L, c. 7. §. 10. 
Sopater, in Cosmos Indicopleustes, who visited the island about 
A.D. 500 : 'H vrjaros, 7] fieyahr) rrapa juej/ IvSois Ka\ovfi€V7j iBieXeSifia, vapa 
Se 'E\\7]ai Tairpo^avn. — Montfaucon, Nov. Coll. Patrum, i, p. 366. 
The Relations Arabes, Eeinaud, ninth century : " La demi^re de 
ces lies est Serendyb...c'est la principale de toutes," I, v, p. 6. 
This Salike is formed, according to Lassen (de Tap., p. 16), from 
Sihala, the Pali form of Sinhala, the home of lions, with sometimes 



EMBASSY TO ROME. 105 

the Arabs — S^elediba, which are "but various forms of 
the Pali Sihala, with the addition in some cases of 
" dipa" or " diba/' an islaiid}^ 

Palisaemundus, the capital of the island, and which 
probably gave the island its name, is described as a sea- 
port situated in the south, and on a river of the same 
name which communicated with the sea by three mouths. 
This Palissemundus Vossius identifies with Galle,*^ 
Lassen, and he is followed by Tennent in his map ac- 
cording to Pliny and Ptolemy, with Anarajapura.^^ 
But Anarajapura, though seated on the banks of a river 
of some magnitude and a capital and a great city which 
must have been known to and could scarcely have been 
left unnoticed by our ambassadors, is an inland town^^ 

the addition of " dipa" or " diba," an island. By the Chinese, 
Ceylon is called the kingdom of lions. For the connection of 
Salike with Sihala, see Bournouf, la Geogr. ancienne de Ceylan, 
N. J. Asiatique for 1857, xv, pp. 104-7. 

43 Immediately after it has told of the origin of the name Tam- 
rapanni, the Mahawanso goes on to say that the descendants of 
Sihabu were called Sihala (lion slayers), and that this Lanka 
having been conquered by a Sihalo obtained the name of Sihala, 
p. 80, Tumour tr. And the Bhanavara embodies in the following 
verses several of the names of Ceylon. 

Oja-dipo, Vara-dipo, Manda-dipo, cha tada* ahu,* 
Lanka-dipo cha pannati Tambapanniti n'ayeti. 
D'Alwis's Descriptive Catalogue, p. 138. 

^ "Portus Insulse...esse ad meridiem. Quis dubitet quin iste 
sit quem Galle vulgo nominant." — Vossius, Observationes ad Pom»« 
ponium Melam, p. 572. 

■15 De Taprobane, etc., p. 13. 

*^ It is the chief of the inland towns, the TroAeu fieaoyeioi of 
Ptolemy, and by him designated as PaaiAciov, the royal residence, 
while Maagrammon is the metropolis, ut supra. Of Anarajapura, 
see also a description in Knox's Hist. Kelation, p. 11. 



106 THE SECOND INDIAN 

and not even a river port, and is besides in tlie north- 
ern and not the southern half of the island. It answers, 
then, in no way to the description of Palissemundus ; 
Galle, on the other hand, has a fine harbour, and is in 
the southern extremity of the island, and is, says Ten- 
nent, " by far the most venerable emporium of foreign 
trade now existing in the universe," but then it is 
without a river, and we have no evidence that it was 
ever a royal city. 

Of the name Palissemundus or Palisaemoundou we 
may observe : 

I. That only in the Natural History of Pliny and the 
so-called Periplus of Arrian is it an actual living name. 
Some century later it is noticed by Ptolemy, but as a 
name which the island had once borne, and which had 
fallen into disuse. 

II. That though it was communicated to Pliny by our 
ambassadors, themselves Sinhalese, and though it is 
given by the author of the Periplus, a Grseco-Egyptian 
merchant, as the name by which Ceylon was known in 
those Hindu, and perhaps Arab, ports where he traded ; 
yet is it a name which we are unable to connect in any 
way with the inhabitants or language of the island, and 
of all the island names, the one of which neither Hindu 
nor Sinhalese Histories, so far as yet ascertained, have 
preserved the memory. 

III. That as it has no signification in Greek or Latin, 
it is probably a native or Hindu name adapted to a 
western pronunciation. Indeed, though not very suc- 
cessfully, it has been explained by or identified with 
certain eastern words or names by several scholars, be- 



EMBASSY TO ROME. 107 

ginning with Yossius,*^ and in our own time by Burnonf, 
Lassen, and Windt, and with seemingly no better success 
than their predecessors. First, Windt,*^ bearing in 
mind the legend of the Eamayana, wide -spread in the 
east, traces it to the seafolk of Limarike, and finds in 
PaMci-mund its original — Palaci, Gnome, Mund, capital 
— Gnomes-capital, a name of reproach, and not likely, 
therefore, to find a place in the Sinhalese annals. 
How is it, then, that we know the name not merely 
through the seafaring author of the Periplus, but through 
Pliny*^ also, here the mouthpiece of Sinhalese ambassa- 
dors, men, as their statements show, no way likely to 
depreciate their country ? Secondly, Lassen,^^ occupied 
with the splendours and glories of Sinhalese Buddhism, 
the learning, power, and mighty works of its priests and 
kings, identifies Palsesimoundou with Pali-simanta, the 
head of the Holy Law, a religious title which might 
have been conferred on or assumed by any Buddhist 
city. But then how account for the fact that this city's 
chroniclers — for the city is Anarajapura according to 
Lassen — who must have rejoiced in, did not perpetuate, 
this appellation so honourable to themselves and their 
country, do not even seem aware of it ? But putting aside 

*"'' Vossius in Pomp. Melam, ed. Gronovii, p. 569, 1854. 

^8 Windt, Insel Ceylon, p. 96. published 1854. 

•*^ Pliny, and the author of the Periplus— somewhat later, see 
the accounts of Hippalus, § 57 — I regard as nearly cotemporaries, 
both for the reasons adduced by Vincent, Ant. Com., II, and 
Miiller's Prolegomena to the Periplus ; and I think the very fact 
that they are the only writers who know of Palissemundus as a 
living name — obsolete in Ptolemy's time (a. d. 170), is an evidence 
that Dodwell's date is erroneous. 

^ De Taprobane Insula, p. 15. 



lOB THE SECOND INDIAN 

all general objections, Professor Goldstiicker objects to 
Lassen's PaZ^'simanta, because the " Pali'' does not in 
sound fairly represent the liaKai, and because the sense 
lent to it is contrary to everything known of Pali and 
Sanscrit names. And thirdly, Burnouf, in an admirable 
essay on the ancient geography of Ceylon, suggests from 
the Sinhalese, Palal-sumana-diva, the island of the vast 
mountain Sumana, as phonetically not ill-representing 
Palis^emundus, but as he cannot find such a name 
given to the island by any native historian, he suggests 
but to reject it. 

But if Palisaemundus be Galle or any other town on 
the south coast, is there not hope that we may still 
possibly come upon some indication of the name ? The 
only chronicles of Ceylon that we have at hand are those 
of the northern kingdom, composed in the monasteries, 
and by the priests, of Anarajapura. But of Galle we know 
next to nothing. The very kingdom of which we pre- 
sume it the capital, Eohuna, almost independent, is 
itself very seldom noticed in the Mahawanso, and then 
briefly and only when the necessities of the northern king 
drove him there for protection or assistance. And yet 
the country " from GaUe to Hambangtotte, colonised at 
an early period by the followers of Wijayo and their 
descendants, had", says Sir E. Tennent, " neither inter- 
course nor commixture with the Malabars. Their tem- 
ples were asylums for the studious ; and to the present 

^1 Burnouf, u. s., 96. For the various names given to Ceylon, 
and the explanations variously given to them, see Vincent, u. s., 
II, pp. 413-4; and more fully and for all that has been guessed 
about Palissemundus.— Burnouf, u. s., p. 87. 



EMBASSY TO KOME. 109 

day some of the priests of Matura and Mulgirigalle are 
accomplished scholars in Sanscrit and Pali, and possess 
rich collections of Buddhist manuscripts and books".^^ 
From these manuscripts and books then, some native 
local chronicle, hitherto inaccessible, but beginning to 
attract the attention of European scholars,^^ we are not 
without hope to learn the Sinhalese name, of which 
Palisoemundus was the Eoman echo.^"^ 

But, as in the second century after Christ and for a 
short time, the island was known as Palissemundus, so 
three centuries before Christ its inhabitants, according 
to Megasthenes, were called Palseogonoi.^^ Por this 
name Lassen accounts by supposing that Megasthenes 
was acquainted with the Eamayana^^ which peoples 
Ceylon with Eakshasas, giants, the sons of the progeni- 
tors of the world, " gigantes progenitorum mundi filii", 
and Nagas, demon snakes, monsters whom he not in- 
aptly designates as Palseogonoi. But surely Megasthenes, 
by his " incolasque Palseogonos appellari", does not pre- 

52 Ceylon, ii, p. 112. 

53 As we may gather from the Descriptive Catalogue of the 
able Secretary of the Ceylon Asiatic Society, Mr. D'Alwis. 

^ Mr. J. H. Nelson has made inquiries for me at the College of 
Madura and elsewhere, but the name Palissemundus is unknown 
in the Tamil country. He and Mr. Burnall have suggested 
several explanations of it, and it seems explicable in so many ways, 
each with as many reasons against as for it, that we may fairly 
put it down as inexplicable as the laugh of Gelimer, or the mishap 
of Welpho. 

55 " Megasthenes jflumine dividi, incolasque Palseogonos appel- 
lari." — Pliny, ut sup. 

56 " Ees ita videtur posse expediri, ut dicamus, notum fuisse Me- 
gastheni fabulam Indorum, qua primi insula) incolse Eaxasse sive 
Gigantes progenitorum mundi filii fuisse traduntur." — ib, p. 9. 



110 THE SECOND INDIAN 

tend to describe the inhabitants oj the island, but merely 
to give the name by which they were known, and to 
give it because it was other than the name of their 
country. And if he had wished to describe them, 
would he have chosen a name unknown to the Greek 
mythology, and which could have conveyed to the 
Greek mind no clear and definite conception, and this, 
when there were Titans and giants at hand to whom he 
might so obviously have likened them ? For these and 
other such reasons Schwanbeck objecting to the ex- 
planation of Lassen, contends that we must look 
to some mispronounced native word for the original 
of this Palseogonoi, and he finds it in the Sanscrit 
*' Palig'anas", men of the sacred doctriney^ But as this is 
an appellation which could scarcely have been given to 
others than earnest and learned votaries of Buddha, it 
is surely not applicable to a people who were not even 
Buddhist till the reign of Asoka,^^ the son and succes- 
sor of that Chandragupta, in attendance on whom Me- 
gasthenes gained his knowledge of India. ^^ 

67 Yidi^e Schwanbeck, on this passage from Megasthenes preserved 
by Pliny, Frag. Hist. Grsec, 412, II. 

^ Lassen, Indische Alterthumskunde, ii, 245. 

59 " Notat '^^ili ab origine limitem, terminum, finem, atque 
amplificato apud Buddhistas sensu, regulam doctrinse sacrae, con- 
textum traditionum legumque." — Lassen, de Tap., p. 15. But 
Professor Goldstiicker, in a letter to me, Nov. 12tli, 1871, assures 
me that pali has not the signification assigned to it by Lassen ; 
and that g'anas means not a people but a series, and he adds that 
the nearest approach he can find to Palseogonoi is '^are on the other 
side the river, and Janas a people ; Parejanas a people on the 
other side the river. It seems to me that the origin of Palseogonoi, 
as of Palis8Bmundus, is as yet unexplained. 



EMBASSY TO KOME. Ill 

Our ambassadors describe the situation of tlie island, 
and the sea which separates it from the continent, and 
give some idea of its size, population and fertility and 
general features. And we cannot but observe that their 
statements are rarely correct, but rather confirm and 
even exaggerate the extravagant views then current and 
which the Greeks had borrowed from the Hindus. They 
reduce its distance from India about 70 miles, from a 
twenty to a four days' sail, but increase its length, 
really of 270 miles, from the 7,000 stadia of Erato- 
sthenes^ to 10,000 stadia or 1,250 miles. They speak 
of it as a parallelogram lying with its longest side oppo- 
site to the Indian coast, which itself they seem to sup- 
pose extended in a line almost parallel to the equator. 
The villages of Eratosthenes, though they reduce the 
number from 7,000 to 5,000, they magnify into towns, 
and to the capital®^ they give 200,000 inhabitants. They 
tell moreover of a great lake — Ceylon has no lakes^^— 
the Megisba,^ almost an inland sea, and the source of 



^ " Eratosthenes et mensuram prodidit, lon^tudinis vii M stad., 
latitudinis v M, nee urbes esse, sed vices septingentos." — Pliny, 
ut supra. 

^ Literally it is the palace that has this number of inhabitants. 
*• Ac regiam cc mill, plebis," but the text is supposed corrupt, and 
I take the more probable sense of the passage. 

62 if Nullum in ea stagnum", says Vossius, " insignis magnitu- 
dinis nedum aliquod cujus ambitus habet ccclxxv pass, mill." Ad 
Pomponium Melam, p. 572. 

63 Megisba. Maha-vapi, e.g., great tank, identified as the Ea- 
lawewa tank by Lassen, iii, p. 218, and which he describes as it 
was after it had been enlarged by Dhatusera, a.d. 459, vide Maha- 
wanso, p. 206, and note to p. II, Index, and not as it was in the 
time of Pliny. 



112 THE SECOXB INDIAN" 

two rivers, wliicli, as tliey take the one a northerly and 
the other a southerly course, necessarily divide the island 
into two sections and thus occupy the place of the great 
river commemorated by Megasthenes and identified as 
the MahaweUi Ganga. Of its fauna they enumerate its 
elephants, prized and celebrated in the days of Alexan- 
der,^* and the tiger now unknown, and not known ever 
to have belonged, to Ceylon, but which may be, Lassen 
thinks, the leopard. Its people they describe as a nation 
of freemen, wealthy and peaceable, industrious and long- 
lived, much as the Greeks were wont to describe the 
Hindus. 

In their accounts of the celestial phenomena, with 
observations which at first startle us, but which on 
examination prove to be well-founded, we find others 
not only inaccurate but inexplicable. Thus they asserted 
that they saw the Pleiades and the Great Bear for the 
first time, and yet the former is always, and the latter 
is at most seasons, visible in their heaven. They told 
too of a moon which showed itself only in its second 
quarter, though in Ceylon the moon shines and has ever 
shone just as it shines everywhere. But their surprise 
that in Europe their shadows fell north, and that the 
sun rose on the left,^^ the contrary of what took place 
with them, was natural. For with the Hindus, accord- 
ed " Majores, bellicosiores" according to Onesicritus, Pliny I.e. 
But Hamilton describes them as not so tall as those of Pegu ; but 
in their hardness and strength, added to their docility and free- 
dom from vice and passion, is their superiority. — Hist. Descrip. of 
Hindustan, ii, p. 491, 4to. 

65 Lassen, Ind. Alterthumsk., iii, p. 216 ; but compare Vincent, 
Commerce of the Antients, ii, p. 492. 



EMBASSY TO EOME. 113 

ing to Wilford (Asiatic Ees., x, 157}, north and left, 
south and right, are identical; and Sir Emerson Tennent 
explains their remark, " by the fact of the sun passing 
overhead in Ceylon in his transit to the northern sol- 
stice, instead of hanging about the south as in Italy 
after acquiring some elevation in the horizon. "^^ 

They spoke of the laws and constitution of their 
island. They told of an elected and responsible monarch, 
who to be eligible must be, and as king must remain, 
childless, and whose authority was limited and con- 
trolled by an elected council, which was itself account- 
able to the great body of the people. Now I presume 
that our ambassadors w^ere the real representatives of 
a real sovereign. But in a strange land when men are 
called upon to give some account of their native country 
unknown there, though I can very well understand 
that they should exaggerate its wealth and power and 
beauty, and hurry over or suppress its natural and 
political disadvantages, I believe that in the main their 
statements will be founded on fact, and that the picture 
they draw however highly coloured will in its more 
prominent features bear some resemblance to its original. 
Further, if either in their enthusiasm or in their desire 
to conciliate admiration they venture on pure fiction, I 
conceive that they will necessarily shape their discourse 
in the one case to their own ideal, in the other to that 
of their auditors. But of Ceylon, the Ceylon of the 
Mahaw^anso, where the king and the priests in turn 
were absolute, and the crown without any strict law of 

^ Ceylon, i, p. 558. 



114 THE SECOND INDIAN 

succession was hereditary, and tlioiigli often forced out 
of the direct line always confined to one family, it is 
surely altogether improbable that any native, the am- 
bassador of such a king, should boast of a constitutional 
monarchy. And at Eome and on their way thither who 
were the companions of our Sinhalese ? During their 
long voyage they associated on terms of intimacy with 
the freedman of Plocamus and his crew ; they feasted 
probably with the merchant Greeks of Alexandria; 
and at Kome they were received and welcomed by the 
courtiers and freedmen of Claudius. And in this 
degraded society of this degraded age, where could 
they have heard even a whisper of liberty, and where 
have acquired for themselves the idea, and for their 
country the honour of a responsible sovereign ? 

How then account for these statements ? From the 
Mahawanso we learn : first, that in the third century 
B.C. Ceylon was twice invaded^^ by bands of Tamil 
■ adventurers, whose chiefs on each occasion after a vic- 
torious war put to death the native king, and in his 
place ruled over the northern districts of the island, the 
first time for twenty-two, the second for forty-four, 
years. Secondly, that at the close of the second century 
B.C., seven adventurers of the same nation landed with 
a great army at Mahattotthe, marched upon Anarajapura, 
fought and defeated the king, drove him into the Malaya, 
and for fourteen years held possession of his capital. 
And thirdly, that about 50 B.C. Tamils were settled in 

67 Vide Mahawanso, p. 127, for the first invasion, b.c. 257 ; for 
ihe second, p. 128, b.c. 207; and for the third, p. 203, b.c. 103. 



EMBASSY TO EOME. 115 

the country, and that a Tamil became the favourite of, 
and was raised to the throne by, the Queen Anula.^ So 
far the native chronicles. From a Hindu history of 
Ceylon, of which there is a translation in the Asiatic 
Journal,^^ we learn that from an early period the north- 
ern extremity of Ceylon was occupied by Tamils ; that 
in the year 3300 of the Kali age a daughter of Pandian 
attended by sixty bands of Wannies proceeded to Cey- 
lon and was married to its king, and that at his desire 
her companions went northward and settled at Yaul- 
panam now Jaffnapatam, and that subsequently other 
emigrants from the same part of the continent settled 

68 "Anula then forming an attachment for a Damillo, named 
Watuko...who had formerly been a carpenter in the town." — lb., 
p. 209. 

69 Vide vol. xxiv, pp. 53, 153. ** This happened three thousand 
three hundred years in the Kali age.".. .And as "in the year 5173 
of the age Kali, the king Sangalee making war with the Portu- 
guese will perish"... and the Portuguese will rule "till the year 
5213, after which the Dutch... will govern the kingdom until the 
year 5795, when on the 6th June the English will come and 
govern" (p. 155), we are enabled to ascertain the date of the 
arrival of the princess. For Kajah Singha was finally defeated, 
and died of his wounds in a.d. 1592, and as from a.k. 3300 to 
A.K. 5173, there have elapsed 1873 years, it follows that the 
princess arrived in Ceylon b.c. 281 (the only daughter of Pandya 
who came to Ceylon, according to the Mahawanso, came the year 
after Buddha's death, a.d. 543), or some thirty years before the 
first Tamil invasion. Again, from a.k. 5173 to a.k. 5213, we have 
an interval of forty years, but, as in fact the Dutch had a fort in 
Cottiar in 1612, or twenty years after the death of Singha, though 
they were not finally masters of the island to the exclusion of the 
Portuguese till a.d. 1658, or sixty-six years after that event, we 
must take forty years as an average. The date given to the Eng- 
lish rule is inexplicable, unless as a mistake 5795 a.k. is put for 
1795 A.j).—8ee also Tennent, II, p. 38. 



116 THE SECOND INDIAN" 

in and occupied the north of the island as far as the 
Wanny. These Tamils, Sir Emerson Tennent states, 
were ruled by a dynasty of Eajahs who held their court 
at Nalloor ; and he adds that he considers it " possible 

that Eachias who arrived at Eome in the reign of 

Claudius may have represented not the Sinhalese mon- 
arch, but the Eajah of Jaffna."^^ A moment admit that 
he did, and how would this affect or account for the 
statements attributed to him ? The Tamils were southern 
Hindus, and as the great temple on the island of 
Eamiseram indicates, worshippers of Eama, whom Greeks 
and Eomans would probably identify with Hercules. 
They colonised and were strictly confined to the northern 
extremity of the island, and up to the time of our 
embassy they never seem as a nation to have pene- 
trated beyond the Malaya or to have formed any per- 
manent settlement on the southern bank of the Cydara. 
Our ambassadors then had probably no opportunities of 
making themselves acquainted with the real size of 
Ceylon, and they would eagerly accept the gigantic 
proportions assigned to it by their own Hindu tradition. 
They would also be ignorant to some extent of the 
political institutions of the Sinhalese, but scarcely to 
the extent shown in the narrative of Pliny ; and we ask 
therefore whether this elective and limited monarchy 
might not have been their own ? On their government 
and political institutions the Mahawanso gives no in- 
formation. If we study the people themselves, even at 
this day we find them distinguishable from the Sinhal- 

70 Ceylon, II, p. 539, note 2. 



EMBASSY TO EOME. 117 

ese by qualities which we are accustomed to look upon 
as the characteristics of a free people, or at least of a 
people living under known laws. They are industrious, 
persevering, intelligent, orderly, provident, and have a 
keen sense of the rights and advantages of property. In 
their country you meet with no stupendous ruins of 
palaces or dagobas or artificial lakes, to attest the selfish 
magnificence and sometimes the far-seeing wisdom of 
an absolute sovereign. There the villages and cottages 
are neat and clean, and the gardens and fields enclosed 
by carefully made and well-trimmed fences ; there to 
ensure the irrigation and fertility of the land each 
village built out in the open has its tank, each farm- 
house its well, the work of its owner^s hands or his 
predecessor's; there you everywhere meet with some- 
thing that tells of municipal care or individual exertion, 
but with nothing that is the work of an imperial will 
aided by imperial resources.^^ 

Again the Pandyan chronicles, though they tell of 
Sera and Sora wars and their results, contain no notice 
of any Tamil settlements in Ceylon. And of the three 
Tamil invasions of Ceylon which had occurred previous 
to our embassy, and which are recorded by the Maha- 
wanso, we find that the first and third were under the 
leadership the one of two, the other of seven, chief- 
tains. We learn further that of the seven chiefs who 
conducted this last expedition, two after the capture of 
Anarajapura re-embarked with their booty for their 
own country; that of the remaining five one was 

'^ Tennent's Ceylon, II, p. 542, etc. 



118 THE SECOND INDIAN 

probably chosen as king, but that after . a three years' 
reign he was put to death and supplanted by his 
minister, who in his turn suffered the same fate by 
the same means, until at length five kings had occupied 
the throne, each one of whom was murdered by his 
minister and successor except the last, and he lost his 
life and capital to the native Sinhalese monarch.''^ 
Coupling now the silence of the Pandyan chronicle 
with the information slight as it is which the Maha- 
wanso affords of the untimely deaths of these Tamil 
kings, may we not infer that these Tamil invasions and 
conquests were not national acts, the expression of the 
national will,^^ but rather the exploits of individual 
adventurers banded together for a special object, and 
conducted by leaders whom they had elected, and 
whom they could depose as easily as they had elected ? 
And after these Tamils had been driven out of Anara- 
japura and back to their old boundaries, with as the 
narrative of the Mahawanso presumes no one among 
them pre-eminent by his wealth, or birth, or authority, is 
it not probable that after many a continuous struggle 
among themselves for a power which was no sooner 
attained than it was overthrown by the jealousy of 
former equals, after many a revolution and the assassi- 
nation of many a king, is it not probable that these 
rival chieftains, if they wished not their country and 

72 Mahawanso, pp. 203-4. 

73 In the geographical description of the Tamil country. Appen- 
dix D, II, p. 25, Taylor's Oriental Hist. MSS., Cape Comorin is 
the furthest southern boundary, and no mention whatever is made 
of Ceylon as Tamil, or subject to Tamil rule. 



EMBASSY TO ROME. 119 

themselves utterly to perish, should settle down at 
length to some form of government not very dissimilar 
to that described by Pliny on the authority of their 
ambassador ? 

But, again, our ambassadors spoke a language which 
had never before been heard in Eome, and which the 
freedman of Plocamus alone could interpret, and with 
which even he was most probably but imperfectly 
acquainted. Wliat they told then might easily be 
misrepresented by the ignorance of the translator, or 
its purport misunderstood when it associated itseK in 
the minds of their audience with some previous know- 
ledge or foregone conclusion. In this way the im- 
possible account of the celestial phenomena of Ceylon 
may be attributed to ignorance of the language, and 
the story of the supposed Seres to a misunderstanding, 
but a misunderstanding which I am unable satisfac- 
torily to explain. 

I would ask however why it is that we identify the 
Seres with the Seras of our text ? If they are one and 
the same people as Pliny thought why here and here 
only do they appear as Seras ? And if Seres, a 
distant people — would Eachias' father, even though of 
Tamil extraction and of a more energetic race than the 
Sinhalese proper, would he have talked of their country 
as one he was in the habit of visiting, commeasse ? 
But if not Seres who are these Seras ? It is clear to 
me that they are Seras not without reason. Pliny or 
whoever took down the statements of our ambassadors 
reproduced as nearly as he could the exact names he 
heard from them. ]N"ow the northern boundary of the 



120 THE SECOND INDIAN 

Pandyan, the Tamil, kingdom and in frequent relations 
of peace and war with it is known as "the Great 
Chera" or Sera''* country, a country not so distant but 
that Eachias' father might occasionally have gone to 
and fro between it and his home, and a country the 
inhabitants of which would be designated as Seras or 
SersB. But with this people, these Seras, Pliny's authority 
connects a strange fashion of barter, though one in use 
among several wild races ;^^ and if it could be shown 
that such a race wandered amid the forests and moun- 
tains of Chera our task would be easy, our explanation 
found. But I can meet with no trace or record of any 
such race there. In Ceylon itself however we hear of 
Bedahs or Veddahs who from time immemorial have 
haunted and still haunt its rocks and coasts and still 
carry on their small traffic unseeing and unseen, and 
who are besides so barbarous that even their possession 
of a language has been doubted.^^ But these are Sin- 
halese ? True, but of them and their singular custom 
of trade the ambassadors would not improbably speak, 
and as this very custom was intimately associated in 
the Eoman mind^^ with the Seres, whoever they may 

74 Cbtra, Nelson's Madura country. Ill, 2><. passim. Sera, Taylor's 
Oriental MSS., Appendix II, p. 26. In re-examining the statements 
of the ambassadors, I read with Gronovius, " lidem narravere latus 
insulse quod prsetenderetur IndisG x mill. stad. esse ab oriente hy- 
berno ultra montes Emodos." — i. e., that part of these mountains — 
'* quorum promontorium Imaus vocatur." — Pliny, c. xxvi, ad cal, 

'5 Supra, note 15, p. 96. 

76 Eeinaud, Mem. s. I'lnde, p. 345. Tennent's Ceylon, 441, II. 

"^ Thus Pomponius Mela, III, vii, 10 : " Seres intersunt... genus 
plenum justitiae, ex commercio, quod rebus in solitudine relictis 
absens peragit notissimum." And Pliny, vi, 20 : " Seres mites 



EMBASSY TO ROME. 121 

have been, his Eoman interlocutor would naturally 
ask : Did they then know the Seres ? And he would 
tell of the Seras. Hence a confusion probable enough 
and explicable. But unluckily he also adds a descrip- 
tion of this wild race. He gives them large bodies, red 
hair, blue eyes and a rough voice''^ i.e., he describes a 
Scythic^^ not a Hindu people and certainly not the 
Veddahs whose long black matted hair, and large heads 
and misshapen limbs^^ and miserable appearance at- 
tracted the notice and excited the pity of Sir E. 
Tennent. Of course it may be pointed out that Eachias 

quidem, sed et ipsis feris persimiles coetum reliquorum mortalium 
fugiunt, commercia expectant." 

78 I find from Pritchard (Nat. Hist, of Man, p. 245), that grey- 
eyed and red-baired Sinhalese are occasionally to be met with, 
but these are so few that they can never have stood for Pliny's 
description of the Serae ; nor can we, as I at first supposed, refer 
either to the Eakshasas (Eamayana, Fauche tr., vi, 140), the mythic 
aborigines of Ceylon and the supposed ancestors of the Veddahs, 
or to the demon masks worn by the Sinhalese in their solemn 
dances (Kolan Nattannawana, Upham's tr.. Or. Tr. Fund), as its 
originals j for neither have anything in common with, or any pos- 
sible likeness to, these Serae. 

79 " Traces of a Scythic descent are to be found among the 
Kattees of Kattywar at this day." — Letter from Sir G. le G. Jacob, 
read at the Asiatic Society, February 19th, 1872. From the Peri- 
plus, § 38, we learn that they occupied, and that their capital was 
seated on, the lower Indus, but that they were then subject to the 
Parthians. We know too that at the commencement of our era 
they conquered India, but I cannot find that they ever settled in 
the northern part of the peninsula. If then we suppose Eachias' 
father sailing to the Indus to meet with those blue-eyed men, 
we have still to account for their mode of traffic which is not 
Scythian. 

*• Pritchard, on Dr. Davy's authority, gives a pleasanter ac- 
count of the Veddahs, but of the village Veddahs probably. 



122 SECOND INDIAN EMBASSY TO EOME. 

does not speak of liis own knowledge, that his memory 
may be at fault, that his questions confounded one 
people with another, but after all this the misunder- 
standing is not accounted for or cleared up. 

Finally, if we give this embassy to the Sinhalese 
proper, then, if our ambassadors were not guilty of 
absurd and purposeless falsehoods, wliich is very im- 
probable, they were grossly ignorant of the size and 
characteristics of their native land — a conclusion which 
nothing in their history warrants. On the contrary, 
the frequent retreat of the Court to the Malaya and 
Eohuna,^^ and the complaint of Gamini,^^ and the tanks 
and other great works of the native kings, indicate a 
knowledge of the island, its size, resources, and general 
features. If on the other hand, we take our ambassa- 
dors from the Tamils of Ceylon, we then have a story 
full of errors it is true, but easily accounted for, and 
the most extraordinary statement of which, that re- 
lating to the Serae, is capable of possible explanation. 

SI Whenever driven from Anarajapura tlie native king retires 
to tlie southern kingdom. Thus after the conquest of Elaro we 
find him and his queen resident at Mahag'amo. — Mahawanso, p. 
134. So the queen Anula on the occasion of the invasion of the 
seven Damilos flees to the Malaya. — ib., p. 204. 

82 " Gamini laid himself on his bed with his hands and feet 
gathered up. The princess mother inquired ; ' My boy why not 
stretch thyself on thy bed and lie down comfortably ?* * Confined/ 
replied he, 'by the Damilos beyond the river (Mahawelliganga), 
and on the other side by the unyielding ocean, how can I lie down 
with outstretched limbs ?' " — ih., p. 136. 



ON. THE 

INDIAN EMBASSIES TO ROME. 



ON 

THE INDIAN EMBASSIES TO EOME, 

FROM THE REIGN OF CLAUDIUS TO THE DEATH 
OF JUSTINIAN. 



After the Sinhalese embassy to Claudius, the Indian 
embassies to Eome were few and far between. To the 
death of Justinian, a.d. 565, four only have been no- 
ticed and barely noticed by historians. The first, to 
Trajan,^ was present with him at the great shows which 
he offered to the Eoman people, a.d. 107. The second, to 
Antoninus Pius,^ A.D. 138-161, came to pay homage to 
his virtues. The third to Julian,^ though intended Zonaras 
asserts for Constantius, reached him according to Am- 

^ Upos de rov Tpaiavov es ri\v Pcu^tjj/ ^XQovra irXiKnai darai irpia^eiai 
irapa fiapfiapofu aWoos re Kai Ij'Scci' acpiKouTO' Kai d€a5...€iroiri(T€v ev ats 
6r]pia...xiXia Kai fivpia i(T<pa'yif)...bTi 6 Tpaiavos rovs vapa tup ^aaihtosv 
mpiKVOv/xevov^ €v T(f PovAevriKCf) Qiacraadai eiroift. — Dio Cassius, vol. I, 
68, 156 J II, p. 313, Bekker. 

2 " Quin etiam Indi Bactriani Hyrcani legates miserunt justitia 
tanti imperatoris comperta."— Aurelian Victor, Epit. xvi. 

3 " Pei'inde timore ejus adventus. . .legationes undique solito ocius 
coiicuiTebant...nationibus Indicis certatim cum donis optimates 
mittentibus ante tempus abusque Divis et Serendivis."— Ammia- 
nus Marcellinus, 'xxii, 7, 277, p. i ; but Zonares, ExpTj/Ltarife 5e kui 
vpea^eaiv e/c Siacpopcov fdiuv araAfiai irpos rov Kuvcxavnov. 



126 INDIAN EMBASSIES FHOM 

mianus Marcellinus, before it was expected, a.d. 361, 
and included ambassadors from the Divi (Maldives) and 
the Serendivi (the Sinhalese) who now for the first time 
appear under their own name and the name by which 
they were known to the Arabs. And the fourth to 
Justinian^ brought him gifts, and was at Constantinople, 
A.D. 530. 

These are but scant memorials of petty diplomatic 
courtesies, and scattered as they are over nearly five 
hundred years they do little to illustrate the intercourse 
between Kome and India, which during the first half 
of these long centuries reached its highest point of de- 
velopment, while during the last it had so fallen away 
that in so far as it was direct it may be regarded as ex- 
tinct. Of that intercourse I now propose to give a 
rapid sketch. 

The discovery of the monsoons, and the distracted 
state of the Parthian Empire had at the beginning of 
the second half of the first century, the close of Clau- 
dius' reign, driven the whole of the trade between the 
east and west to the great city of Alexandria.^ Its 
people quick-witted but restless of disposition and ex- 
citable of temper grew wealthy, and grew insolent as they 



4 Ev avTcp 86 rep xpo^v (when John of Cappodocia was made Prse- 
^o-^ian Exarch, a.d. 530, Smith, Biog. Diet.) kui irpeff^vTrjs IvScwj/ 
juera dcopcDV KaTfireixtpdrj iv KuvaravTiPoviroXei. — Malalas, p. 477 ; and a 
Hindu embassy I gather on comparing it with another African- 
Indian embassy mentioned, pp. 458-9, ib. 

^ Dio Chrysostom, time of Trajan, speaks of it as second only 
to Rome, ttoAis devrepa rwv viro rov r]\i.ov. — Oratio, xxxii, pp. 669-70; 
even in the sixth century it was Mevtarrj iroKis. — Cosmas Montfau- 
con, Kova Collectio Patrum, I, 124. 



CLAUDIUS TO JUSTINIAN. 127 

grew wealthy. The person and character of the sovereign 
was a favourite theme for their ridicule f and on every 
slight occasion, when not taken up with factious fights 
among themselves, they rose in tumult against their 
governors and sometimes even in revolt against the 
state. The emperors looked upon them with no friendly 
eye. And it was, perhaps, as much to abate their in- 
solence as to forward the interests of trade, that Hadrian 
put an end to their monoply, and admitted Palmyra in- 
to the commercial system of the Eoman .Empire.^ 
Under his patronage, and that of his successors, the 
Antonines,^ who lived much in the east, and followed 
out, we have every reason to believe, his policy, Pal- 

^ See Hadrian's letter to the Consul Servianus in Flavins Vo- 
piscus ; " Genus hominum seditiosissimum, vanissimum, impuris- 
simum : civitas opulenta dives f8ecunda...utinam melius esset 
morata civitas... liuic ego cuncta concessi...et in filium Verum 
multi dixerunt, et de Antinoo quae dixerunt comperisse te credo.'* 
— Augustee Scriptores, 234, II. Dio Chrysostom speaks of the 
turbulent sneers, and mocks, and angry hisses with which they 
greeted both king and private nian, ovk eSetrra rov vfxerepop Qpovv, 
ov^i TOP yiXoDTa, ouSe 'n]v opyrju, ovSc avpiyixovs, ovde ra aKwixpLora ols 
vavTas 6K7rA77TT6T€.../cai i5i(arir)v nai iSaciAeo, id., p. 664; and that this 
had estranged the emperors we may gather from p. 637, fis viroy\iLav 
avTovs Kad^ vfxwv Tijay^rw. Also p. 700, Reiske ed. And Ammianus 
Marcellinus " Sed Alexandria in internis seditionibus diu aspere 
fatigata."— xxii, § 16, p. 207. 

'' Ersch and Griiber, Encyclopedie, art. Palmyra. Not, how- 
ever, forgetting that between India and Palmyra trade already 
existed; for Trajan, having descended the Tigris, 67r' avrov rov 
n,Kiavov f\d(i}u...Kai ir\oiou ri €s Ii'Sjoi' irXeov iS<ov. — Cassius, L. 67, c. 
28. And through Palmyra probably " That colony of Jews which 
after the destruction of Jerusalem settled in Cochin, made their 
way." — Buchanan's Eesearches; Day's Permaul, pp. 341-53. 

8 Of works treating of India belonging to this period we have — 
The Periplus of the Erythraean Sea (a.d. 81, 96); Prolog, de Auct. 



128 INDIAN EMBASSIES FEOM 

myra rapidly developed the advantages wliicli it derived 
from its position on the nearest route to India, It 
flourished and grew daily in importance. And when 
Emesa, almost on its frontiers, and on its high road to 
Antioch and Damascus, gave to Eome Julia Domna, the 
wife of one Emperor, Severus, and the mother of 
another, Caracalla, and afterwards two Emperors, Ela- 



Perip., p. xcvii, L. Geog. Minor, ed. Dido t— a manual of Roman, 
or rather Egyptian, trade with India ; a really original work, the 
result of the author's own observation and experience as a mer- 
chant and supercargo. The Geography of Ptolemy (a.d. 138, 161), 
the first work which makes the circuit of Ceylon, and names the 
harbours and headlands on its coast, its rivers, mountains, and 
towns. The Expedition of Alexander and the Indica of Arriau 
(a. d. 150, 160), both compilations, but the compilations of a 
man of sense and critical acuteness — the one made up from the 
cotemporary histories of Alexander, the other from the narratives 
of Megasthenes, Eratosthenes, and Nearchus. We have besides 
notices of India and Indian manners scattered through several of 
the numerous treatises of Plutarch and the orations of Dion Chry- 
sostom (A.D. 100); but they both draw their information from the 
common storehouse, — and even in that longer description of India 
as the true pays de Cocagne which Dion gives in his Oratio in 
Calenis Phrygian, he merely throws together in one piece the 
various Indian myths which Ctesias and Onesicritus so willingly 
collected and believed. Among the writers of this age we may 
also though with some hesitation class Q. Curtius (Smith's Biog. 
Diet., V. 1), and Dionysius Periegetes (Geog. Hist. Prolog., p. 18, 
II, Didot). But neither had of himself any knowledge of India; 
the first merely copied and compiled from the old historians of 
Alexander, and the second as well in his Bassarika as in his Perie- 
gesis is original (?) only in so far as he connects the known coun- 
try of India with the exploits of Bacchus : indeed he says of him- 
self— 

ov yap fioi j8iO$ eari fx^Xaivaav eiri vriwf 
ou5e fjioi ffiTTopiT] Trarpuios, ou5' 67rt ra77Tj^ 
fpXotJLai, oia re iroWoi. — vv. 709-11. 



CLAUDIUS TO JUSTINIAN. 129 

gabalus and Alexander : then sated with wealth it began 
to aspire to other than the arts of commerce ; it levied 
or hired armies ; it made conquests and acquired terri- 
tory ; it became a power, and for a moment held with 
Eome divided empire.^ 

The trade between Eome and India, even under the 
earlier Antonines, must have been important ;^^ for it 
attracted the attention of the Chinese. Their annals 
speak of it as carried on principally by sea ; they enu- 
merate the commodities as coral, amber, gold, sapphires, 
mother-of-pearl, perfumes, etc., which it preferred, and 
allude to the trade frauds and manipulations by which 
Eoman merchants freshened up and flavoured exhausted 
perfumes-^^ for foreign and provincial markets. They 
speak of Eoman merchants in relations of commerce 
with and visiting Burmah, Tonquin and Cochin China ; 
and what more interests us, they have preserved the 
memory of an Embassy from the Eoman Emperor 

9 See de Odonato XIV, the Duo Gallieni III, the Claudius XII, 
Trigint. Tyran., Trebellii PoUion., and Aurelian's letter to the 
senate, excusing the appearance of Zenobia in his triumphal pro- 
cession. Vopisci, Hist. Aug. Script., and note 9 to c. 32, vii, L. of 
Eusebius, Eccl. Hist., Heinichen's ed. 

^0 Pausanias, a cotemporary of Antoninus Pius and Aurelius, in- 
cidentally notices it, but in a way which would lead one to suppose 
it was insignificant, oi de es ttji/ IvSiktjp eairXeovTes (popnoov <paaiv 
'EWrjviKUu Tovs IvSovs ayuyifxa aWa avraWaao-eadai, voniaixa 5e ovk 
iiTiaraadai, Kai ravra XP^^o^ """^ a<pdovov kui x^^X^^ trapovros a<piat. — 
III, L. c. xii, § 3. 

1' Rather inferred than expressed. " Hs prennent les composes 
de plantes medicinales, en extraient les parties succulentes afin 
d'en composer des pates odorantes et ils vendent le residu prive de 
Bes meilleures qualites aux marchands des autres royaumes." — 
Pauthier, Examen des faits relatifs au Thian-Tchu ou rinde,p. 23. 

K 



130 INDIAN EMBASSIES, FROM 

An tun (Marcus Aurelius), which a.d. 166 was received 
by and offered tribute to the Chinese sovereign, ele- 
phants' teeth, rhinoceros^ horns and tortoise shells.^^ 

But for this embassy there is no Eoman authority 
whatever, and as an embassy paying tribute when 
Marcus Aurelius was emperor, it is simply impossible. 
And yet it is so slightly noticed, and so little is made 
of it, that one cannot put it away as a mere invention 
of the Chinese historian to magnify his country. Be- 
sides, we find that the same writer records the visit some 
years later of a Eoman merchant,^^ one Lun, to the 
Chinese Court, and speaks of his interviews with the 
then Chinese Emperor, curious about the songs and 
manners of other countries, and yet never speaks of him 
as other or more than a merchant. Surely then we have 
no reason to assume that the Eomans of the so-called 
embassy had their ambassadorial character thrust upon 
them, they must have taken it upon themselves for pur- 
poses of trade.^* 

12 " Ce royaume de I'lnde fait un grand commerce h Toccident 
avec le Ta-thsin, I'Empire Eomain ; c'est par la mar surtout." — Id., 
p. 22. " Les liabitans de ce royaume vont trfes souvent pour leurs 
relations de commerce jusqu'au Fou-nan, Burmah: au Jiwan, 
Cochin Chine : au Kie-tchi, le Tonquin." — P. 25. " La neuvieme 
des annees Yan-ti de Houan-ti de la dynastie des Han (a.d. 160), 
Autun roi du Ta-thsin envoya une ambassade pour offrir des pre- 
sents." — P. 24, and in a note, " Le tribut consistait en dents d' ele- 
phant, etc." 

13 *' Le cinquieme des annees Hoang-wou (a.d. 222-278) un mar- 
chand du Ta-thsin... du nom de Thsin-lun, Lun le Eomain, vint 
dans le Tonquin. Le gouverneur I'accompagna pres du souverain 
Chinois. Ce dernier I'interrogea sur les chants, les mceurs de son 
pays." — Id., p. 25. 

14 Eeinaud, I'Empire Eomain, et I'Asie Orientale, Jour. Asiat., 



CLAUDIUS TO JUSTINIAN". 131 

Again, the presents or tribute with which these am- 
bassadors approach the Celestial throne, as they are 
products not of Italy but of Africa or India, are scarcely 
the presents with which the Eoman would greet a 
brother Emperor. But on the other hand they are just 
the sort of commodities which Alexandrian merchants 
trading to India would gather up on a roving voyage, 
and which as curious and valuable they would be likely 

1863, p. 323, connects with this embassy— for embassy he will have 
it — a notice concerning silk, introduced d propos des hottes, by 
Pausanias, at the close of B. vi, c. 26, Desc. Grseciae. He there says, 
that " silk is not the produce of a plant, but that it is obtained 
from a small animal about twice the size of a beetle, which the 
Greeks but not the Seres call afip. This animal is like the tree- 
spider, and like it has eight legs. The Seres rear it in houses suited 
to the hot and cold seasons, and it works up a thin thread which 
it rolls about with its feet (the beetle). For four years they feed 
it with millet, eXvfjLos, and on the fifth give it a greenish reed, 
which it eats greedily till it bursts. When it is dead, a great 
quantity of thread is found within its body." I must own that I 
overlooked or put aside as worthless this account of the silkworm ; 
but Reinaud, with his quick perception and great memory, saw all 
its importance and remarked, that this is the first notice we have 
both of silk as an animal product, and of the care taken by the 
Seres in rearing the silkworm, and I admit that Pausanias in some 
way or another derived his information from the Romans, who at this 
time visited China. Let me, however, express my surprise that 
Pliny, who describes the bombyx of Cos and the thread obtained 
from its cocoon, and the stuff" made from that thread, should have 
clung to some plant as the origin of silk ; but then Pliny was but a 
reader of books, and perhaps a man of the world— not an observer 
of nature ; and in his account of the bombyx he seems, judging 
from the notes to the Delphin Pliny, Valpy's, to have borrowed 
from Aristotle's Hist. Animal. In these notes, speaking of the 
same Bombyx, Julius Pollux (a.d. 134) is cited as observing that 
there are some people who say that the Seres collect their silk 
from other such animals. — Pliny, Hist. Nat., xi, 27, note. 



132 INDIAN EMBASSIES, FEOM 

to offer as present or tribute to any potentate they cared 
to propitiate. I look on this embassy as the fraud of 
Alexandrian merchants. 

But it was during the reigns of Severus, his son 
Caracalla, and the pseudo-Antonines, that Alexandria 
and Palmyra were most prosperous, and that Eoman in- 
tercourse with India was at its height. Then Eoman 
literature gave more of its attention to Indian matters, 
and did not, as of old, confine itself to quotations from 
the historians of Alexander or the narratives of the 
Seleucidian ambassadors, but drew its information from 
other and independent sources. Then Clemens Alex- 
andrinus (a.d. 192, 217), thus wrote of the Gymnoso- 
phists ; "They are," he says, " Sarmanai, or Brahmins. Of 
the Sarmanai, the AUobioi neither dwell in cities nor 
under a roof, but ' wear a vesture of bark', and live on 
acorns, and drink water from their hands, and know 
neither marriage nor the procreation of children. And 
they are the Indians^^ who obey the precepts of Boutta : 
and him for his exceeding majesty they honour as a 
god." And in another place, but on the authority of 
Alexander Polyhistor, he tells of the Brahmans,^^ how 

15 In general rendered " And there are Indians/' etc. I sub- 
join the whole passage : — Kat rwv 'Sap/xavcav ot A\Aoj8tot ('TAo)8tot) 
TTpoffayopevofjLevoi, ovre iroKeiS oiKovcriv, ovre (rreyas exowtrt, SevSpup Se 
a^Kpiivvvvrai <p\oiois (Menu, vi, § 16) ; Kat aKpodpva (riTovvrai Kai y5«p 
rais x^P^'' Tfivovaiv ov •yapLOV, ov iraiSoirouav laaaiv, ccairep ol vw "EyKpa- 
rrjrai KaKovjx^voi. etffi Se roiv Ij/Scwj/ oi rois Bovrra ireiBopLSuoi ■napayykX- 
ixaaiv 6v 5t' vnepfioXrjv aefivoTrjTos eis @eov TertjUTyfao-t. — Stromata, I, 
110. I beg attention to the ambiguity of the last paragraph. 

^^ Bpax/uayot oure ffjiipvxov eaOiovaiv, ovre oivov irivovaiu, aAA.' ot fxfv 
avTwu Ka6* cKaarTju rj/JLcpau, oos rjpLsis, ttjv rpo<j)r}v irpoaievraf eftoi S' avrwv, 
Sia ipwu TJixepwv oos ^rjaiv A\e^av5pos d HoKviarup €P roi9 ludiKois' Kara- 



CLAUDIUS TO JUSTINIAN. 133 

"they neither drink wine nor taste of animal food; how- 
some of them eat daily, others but once in three days ;^7 
how from their belief in a second birth, iraXtr^'yevecnav, 
they despise death and are indifferent to life ; and how 
they worship Hercules and Pan. He says further that 
those called Semnoi go naked, and cultivate truth, and 
foretell the future, and worship a pyramid which is 
supposed to cover the bones of a god ; that neither 
Gymnosophists nor Semnoi marry, because marriage 
they look upon as contrary to law and nature, and they 
therefore keep themselves chaste, so do the Semnoi 
women who devote themselves to a virgin life. He 
adds that they observe the heavenly bodies, and through 
them foretell the future." 

The name and precepts of Buddha, and the worship 
of the pyramid topes, recorded in these passages, are to 
be found in no other ancient writer whatever. If derived 
originally from Megasthenes as is supposed, it is strange 
that they have escaped the notice of Plutarch and 

<ppovov(n Se Qavarov, Kai reap" ovS^v Tjyovvrai ro ^r)P' ireidovrai yap eivat 
'jra\tyy€V€(nav. olSe <T€$ov(tiv 'HpaK\ea Kai Uava' ol KaXovfievoi 5€ Sejuj/oi 
rwv IvScDV, yvfivoi SiairavTai top iravra fiiov ovroi T'r]V aXrjdeiav aaKovai 
Kai irtpi rcov fxeWovraiv irepifirjuvovai, Kai affiov<xi riva nvpafxiZa v(p^ rjv 
oana rivos @eov vofii^ovaiv airoK€i(T6ai. ovre Sf ot TvfiUoaocpKrTai, ov6* ol 
X^yofievoi Renvoi, yvvai^i xP«»'Taf trapa <pv(Tiv yap roxno Kai irapavofiov 
SoKovai' St' 7ju aiTiav a(pas ayvovs rripovari' rrapOevevovai Se Kai ^efxvai. 
BoKovai irapar-qpeiv ra ovpavia, Kai Sia ttjs rovrwv tJi\iXii(a<Tt<a% ruv fjiiWov- 
ruv vpofjiavTevfadai riva. — ih. iii, 194. 

17 In the Prabodhatschandradaja is an allusion to this observance. 
The scholar asks of his master why the observers of religious rites 
eat but one meal in three days. " Wenn Essen und Trinken die 
Hauptaufgabe des Menschen ist...denn warum wird...das Leben... 
durch Bu8subungen...wie in drei Tagen nur ein Mai speisen, 
gequalt?"...Hirzers Tr., p. 23, and Menu, vi, 18, etc. 



134 INDIAN EMBASSIES, FROM 

Porphyry, curious in such matters ; and still more strange 
that, as characteristic of one of the great religions of 
India, they should have been passed over by Strabo, 
Diodorus Siculus, and Arrian, who in their works have 
embodied his Indica, at least that part of it which treats 
of the sects and castes of India. But the paragraph 
with the name of Boutta, at the close of the first citation, 
is so loosely worded that it is impossible to ascertain 
whether it refers to the Sarmanai previously mentioned, 
or to some altogether different sect. It is besides so 
clumsily introduced, that it reads like an afterthought, 
a fact thrown in that it may not be lost, or a piece of 
information which Clemens had obtained from some 
of those Indians mentioned by Dion as residents at Alex- 
andria,^^ and which he now tacks on to a description 
notoriously taken from Megasthenes. 

Of the second^^ passage, all that refers to the Semnoi 

^^ Ad Alexandrines, — dpw yap ov fiovov 'EAArji/as irap' vjxiVy ovV IraK- 
ovSf etc., etc., aWa koli BuKTpiovs, Kai ^KvOas, Kai Uepaas, Kai IpSuv 
rivas, 01 (TvvOecevTai Kai itap^iaiv iKaorroTe vfiiv. — Orat., xxxii, p. 672, 
Eeiske ed. 

^9 The term Sarmanai Germanai as the name of a Hindu sect 
was first used by Megasthenes (a.d. 302-288), and is found in 
Strabo and Clemens cited above ; that of Samanaeoi belongs to 
Alexander Polyhistor, and is found in Clemens (a.d. 193-217) in the 
same section and just before the passage relating to the Gymnoso- 
phists which I have given in the text : and in Cyril, cont. 
Julianum iv (a.d. 433), but is in both writers the name of the 
philosophers or priests of Bactria, and copied from Polyhistor. 
After Clemens, who lived at the close of the second and beginning 
of the third century, it is used by Bardesanes (a.d. 217) to desig- 
nate for the first time, so far as we know, the Buddhist priests of 
India j by Origen (a.d. 245-249) in the same sense, and lastly by 
Hieronymus, close of the fourth century (Epist. cont. Jovian, pt. 



CLAUDIUS TO JUSTINIAN. 135 

I am disposed to look upon as an addition of Clemens.^ 
For though Alexander Polyhistor was a great reader 
and voluminous writer, he was a compiler merely, and 
no more professed originality than does an Encyclo- 
paedia. A native too of one of the Greek cities of Asia 
Minor, he fell upon unhappy times, and was carried 
away to Eome before mid age a prisoner and a slave, 
and passed the remainder of his days in Italy. Under 
these circumstances 1 do not see how he could have 
heard or learned any new thing about India, anything 

i, tr. ii, xxxix), and expressly borrowed from Bardesanes. But 
to show that both Clemens and Cyril have been writing from the 
same authority, I will place their words side by side, observing 
that Cyril expressly quotes from the Py thagorick symbols of Poly- 
histor. 

npoearrjaav Se avrris {(f)i\o(TO' 'larropfi yovu AXf^avSpos b itti' 
ipia%) Aiyvrrruy re ot vpoiprirai Kai KhTiv TloXvKTTwp fv T<p irept Tlvda- 
AaavpitDV ot XaK^aioi, Kat TaKarosv yopiKuv (Tvix$o\otv...€(pi\o(TO<priaaP 
ol ApviSai, Kai "Zanavaioi Ba/c- Kai irap* Aiy inrTiois ot KeKXrinevoi 
rpoiu, KaiKf\T(i)u ot <piKo(To<pt](Tav- irpo<pi)Tai Kai fxrjv Kai Anavpioov 
Tfs Kai Ilepawv ot ixayoi ..IvSeou t€ Xa\Saioi,Kaira\aTO}v ot ApviSai, Kai 

ot rviJ.VO(TO(pl(TTai...':iKvdYIS §6 Kttt €« BaKT p W V T (i) P Tl € p CT 0) V 2 a- 

Avaxapois fiv. — Stromat., I. (xavaioi^ Kai KeXroov ovk o\iyoif 

Kai trapa Uepeais ot Mayot, Kai irap' 

IvSois ot TvfjLvoaotpKTTai, KUi airros 

Avaxapcris irapa ^KvOais. — Cyril 

cont. Julian, L. iv, p. 133, ed. 

Spanheim's (a.d. 375 ?). 

^0 Bardesanes we examine at length presently. Origen, cont. 

Celsum, I, 24, speaking of the innate force of words, cos no-i xp<»»^<»t 

AiyvKTiwv ot aoipoi Kai rwu irapa TLepaais \t.ay<av ot \oyioi, Kantav trap'' IvZoit 

<pi\oao(j>ovvT(i>v $paxfJiaP€s 17 ^a/xavaio i. — Hieronymus, " Bardesanes 

vir Babylonius in duo dogmata apud Indos Gymnosophistas 

dividit, quorum alterum appellat Bragmanos, alterum Samanceos." 

See, however, Schwanbeck in Miiller's Hist. Grsec, Frag., p. 437, 

V. Ill, and Lassen Ind. Alterthum, v. Ill, pp. 355-6. 



136 INDIAN EMBASSIES, FKOM 

not already contained in books. But look now at 
Clemens Alexandrinus. He lived in Alexandria, then 
in frequent communication with India, where Hindus 
occasionally resorted. He was besides a Christian, and 
as a Christian he necessarily frequented the society of 
artisans and merchants, and among them if anywhere 
had opportunities of meeting either with Hindus or 
with those who had visited India. But could a man of 
his acquirements and eager, earnest, and inquiring mind 
meet with such men, and not draw from them some in- 
formation relating to India before unknown ? His keep- 
ing within the well beaten path of old facts would be to 
me as surprising as Polyhistor's straying from it. Again, 
in no known fragment of Polyhistor are the Buddhist 
priests called Semnoi; indeed the term as appKed to 
them is found only in this passage. And I can very 
well understand Clemens choosing it, because in sound 
it sufficiently resembles the Tamil Samana,^^ and in 
sense expresses satisfactorily the ideas attached to an 
ancient priesthood; and perhaps also because, though 
unaware of their brotherhood, he thus distinguished the 
Hindu Buddhist from Polyhistor's Samanseos or Bac- 
trian priest. 

Then Philostratus,^^ a cotemporary of Clemens, pub- 
lished his romance of ApoUonius of Tyana, and ^lian^^ 

21 Pronounced, Mr. J. H. Nelson, C.S., Madras, informs me, as 
semen, the e sounded as in Italian. Boutta too he thinks more 
closely allied to the Tamil Buttha than the Sanscrit Buddha, 
though he would hesitate to derive it thence. 

22 Philostratus published his AppoUonius after the death of 
the Empress Julia Domna, as he himself states, consequently some 
time after a.d. 217.— V. Dio Cassius, L. 78, 6, 24. 

23 ^lian flourished ad. 225. 



CLAUDIUS TO JUSTINIAN". 137 

his Variae Historise, in which are many notices of Indian 
animals and Indian peoples and customs, but from Mega- 
sthenes and Ctesias principally. ^^ And then too Art em- 
ployed itself on Indian subjects, as we gather from Calli- 
stratus' description of the statue of a drunken and reeling 
IIindu.2^ Then Dio Cassius wrote his history, lost in 
its entirety, but of which the fragments and summary 
by Xiphilinus sufficiently attest the interest he took in 
all that related to India. Then too Bardesanes,^^ as we 
learn from the extracts preserved by Porphyry,^^ gave 
to the w^orld his Indica, the materials for which he ob- 
tained he states from one Dandamis or Sandanes, the 
chief of some unrecorded embassy to the Csesars, and 
whom he met it seems at Babylon in the reign of Anto- 
ninus of Emesa,28 Elagabalus (a.d. 218-222). He 

2-* To this age also probably belongs the UepioSos Bona, which 
speaks of Thomas' visit to India, and tells of an Indian king, 
Goundaphores, whose agent was in the Eoman Empire looking 
out for mechanics, and who may be identified with Gondophares 
of the Indo-Parthian coins, a cotemporary of the last Arsacidan 
kings (about a.d. 216) Thilo, Acta St. Thomse and Wilson, Ariana 
Antiqua. And to this age we may refer one of the heresies of the 
Christian Church introduced by and brought avo 'Xvpov r-qs IlapQias. 
— Bunsen Analecta Antenicsena, i, p. 378. 

25 Descript. iv. ets ro IvSov ayaXfia. On the statue of an Indian 
evidently ; and not. On the statue of the Indus, as Lassen renders 
it.— Ind. Alt., Ill, 73. Callistratus wrote about a.d. 250. 

26 He speaks also of Indians idolatrous and non-idolatrous in his 
Book of Fate. 

27 Porphyry, de Abstinentid, iv, 17. 

28 IvSot oi eiri rrjs fiaaiKeias tt\s Avtoduipov rov 6{ Efieaotv tis rriv "Svpiav 
BapSrjfTavri rtp e« ttjj Mco-oTroTajUjas €ts Koyovs atpiKOfievoi f^ryyTjaavro. — 
Stobseus Physica, i, 54. Gaisford's ed. This reading proposed by 
Heeren and adopted by Gaisford. necessarily, it seems to me, 
brings down our embassy to the reign of Elagabalus (a.d. 218-222), 



138 INDIAN EMBASSIES, FROM 

writes, that " the Indian Theosophs, whom the Greeks 
call Gymnosophists, are divided into two sects, Brah- 
mans and Shamans, Samanseoi. The Brahmans are one 
family, the descendants of one father and mother, and 
they inherit their theology as a priesthood. The Sha- 
mans on the other hand are taken from all Indian sects 
indifferently,^^ from all who wish to give themselves up 
to the study of divine things. 

" The Brahmans pay no taxes like other citizens, and 
are subject to no king.^'^ Of the philosophers among 
them, some inhabit the mountains, others the banks of 
the Ganges. The mountain Brahmans subsist on fruit 
and cow's milk, curdled with herbs.^^ The others live 

the only Antonine who can be described as of Emesa. Lassen, how- 
ever (ut sup.. Ill, 348), is of opinion that it was addressed to An- 
toninus Pius (a.d. 158-181, an error for 138-151), but as his reference 
is to Heeren's ed., whose emendation I presume he adopts, I can- 
not conceive how he arrives at this conclusion. 

28 Megasthenes, as quoted by both Arrian and Strabo, had some 
indistinct notion that the Indian Sophistai or some of them were 
not so bound to caste as the other Indians. But Arrian so puts it 
as if the whole Brahman caste was open. Mopov a<piaiv aveirai 
ao<piarr}v €k iravTos yev^os yevtadai, and this because of the austerity 
of their lives. — Indica, xi, 7, xii, 9. Fr. Hist. G-rsec, II, pp. 427, 
429. Didot ed. Strabo, on the other hand, that no man can exer- 
cise two trades, except he be a philosopher, ttAtji/ ei twv <pi\oao<pa>tf 
Tis €17), and this because of their virtue. — ih., p. 430. Diodorus 
omits the passage : doubtless it was ambiguous. 

^ AA6tToi;p77jTot yap ovres oi <pi\o<TO(poi iraarjs vvovpyias, ovd' krepotv 
Kvpifvovaiv ovd' v<p' erepuvbea-no^ovrai. — Diodorus, II, 400 ; Fr. Grsec, 
II, p. 405. Menu says, *' A king, even though dying, must not re- 
ceive any tax from a Brahman learned in the Vedas." — cvii, 133. 
" The temple lands ^^of Buddhist priests) were invariably free from 
royal duty." — Hardy, Monachism, p. 68. 

31 "Buttermilk may be swallowed, and every preparation of 
buttermilk," 10 §. "And every mess prepared with barley or 
wheat, or with dressed milk," 25 §, c. v, Menu. 



CLAUDIUS TO JUSTINIAN. 139 

on the fruit trees which are found in plenty near the 
river and which afford an almost constant succession of 
fresh fruits, and, should these fail, on the self-sown 
wild rice that grows there.^^ To eat any other food, or 
even to touch animal food, they hold to be the height 
of impiety and uncleanness.^^ Each man has his own 
cabin, and lives as much as he can by himself, and 
spends the day and the greater part of the night in 
prayers and hymns to the gods. And they so dislike 
society, even that of one another, or much discourse, that 
when either happens, they expiate it by a retirement 
and silence of many days.^* They fast often. 

" The Shamans,^^ on the other hand, are, as I said, an 
elected body. Whoever wishes to be enrolled in their 
order presents himself to the city or village authorities, 
and there makes cession of all his property. He then 
shaves his body, puts on the Shaman robe, and goes to 
the Shamans,^^ and never turns back to speak or look 

32 " Let him eat green herbs, flowers, roots, and finiits, etc.,** § 
13. " Let him not eat the produce of ploughed land," § 16, c. vi, 
of the Anchorite ed. But as a Sannyasi, " an earthen water-pot, 
the roots of large trees, coarse vesture, total solitude, — these are 
the characteristics of a Brahman set free," § 44, ib. 

33 The Brahman student must " abstain from flesh meat," § 177, 
ii, ib. " The Manava Dharma affirms that the Brahman who eatg 
flesh loses instantly his rank."— Tr. El. As. Soc, p. 163, iii, v. 

34 As anchorite, " Let him live without external fire, — wholly 
silent," vi, 25, ib. As Sannyasi, " Alone let him constantly dwell 
for the sake of his own felicity, observing the happiness of a soli* 
tary man, — without a companion," ib., 42. 

36 Samanaioi, from the Pali Sammana, found first in Clemens 
Alexandrinus, seemingly from Polyhistor, and applied to the priests 
of Bactria. 

86 " The priest can only possess three robes," p. 66. " From 



140 INDIAN EMBASSIES, FROM 

at his wife and children if he have any, and never 
thinks of them any more, but leaves his children to the 
king and his wife to his relations, who provide them 
with the necessaries of life. The Shamans live outside 
the city, and spend the whole day in discourse upon 
divine things. They have houses and temples of a 
royal foundation, and in them stewards, who receive 
from the king^'' a certain allowance of food, bread, and 
vegetables for each convent. When the convent bell 
rings,^^ all strangers then in the house withdraw, and 
the Shamans enter and betake themselves to prayer. 
Prayer ended, at the sound of a second bell the servants 
place before each individual, for two never eat together, 
a dish of rice ; but to any one who wants variety they 
give besides either vegetables or fruit. As soon as they 
have done dinner, and they hurry over it, they go out to 
their usual occupations. They are not allowed to 
marry or to possess property. They and the Brahmans 

the commencement of his novitiate he is shaved/' p. 112. " The 
wearing of the robe is imperative," pp. 114, 122. Hardy, East. 
Monachism. 

87 The regular and usual mode of obtaining food is " to take the 
alms bowl from house to house," Hardy, ut sup., 94, but as we 
may gather from the Saored Books of Ceylon and the Legend of 
Anepidu (Hardy, Monachism, p. 68, and Buddhism, p. 218), land 
and food were also provided by kings and rich men for monas- 
teries ; indeed under certain circumstances the priest is enjoined 
to refuse the food " that is given statedly to a temple." — Id., Mo- 
nachism, p. 97. 

38 So in the legend of S^mgha : " Au bout de quelque temps le 
son de la plaque de metal qu'on frappe pour appeler les religieux 
s'etait fait entendre, chacun d'eux tenant son vase a la main vient 
s'asseoir a son rang." — Burnouf, Introd. a I'Hist. du Bouddhisme, 
p. 320. 



CLAUDIUS TO JUSTINIAN. 141 

are so honoured by the Indians, that even the king will 
come to them to solicit their counsel in matters of 
moment, and their intercession with the gods when 
danger threatens the country." 

" Both Shamans and Brahmans have such a notion of 
death, that they impatiently bear with life, and view it 
but as a necessary though burdensome service imposed 
upon them by nature. They hasten therefore to free 
the soul from the body.^^ And often when a man is 

39 Onesicritus says of them when suffering from disease, Attr- 
Xi(J"rop 5' avTois vofii^fadai voaov awfxariKrjW rov S' virovorjcravTa /ca0' avrov 
rovTo, e^ayeiv eavrov Sia trvpos, vqaavra 'iTvpav...aKi,vii7ov Se Kaieadai. — 
Strabo, xv, 65. Pomponius Mela more generally, " At ubi senectus 
aut morbus incessit, procul a caeteris abeunt mortemque... nihil 
anxie expectant... Prudentiores...non expectant eam sed ingerendo 
semet ignibus Iseti et cum gloria arcessunt." — III, vii, 40. " On 
voit...dans I'lnde des hommes se bruler sur un bTicher...Cet usage 
vient de la croyance...a la metempsycose." — Eeinaud, Eel. des 
Voyageurs Arabes, I, p. 120. Yet Menu rather discountenances, 
except in sickness, voluntary deaths. "If he has an incurable 
disease" (for an example see Eadja-Tarangini, i, 311-12, note), 
" let him advance in a straight line towards the invincible north- 
east point, feeding on air and water till his mortal frame totally 
decay, vii, 31 ; but 45 ih., " Let him not wish for life, let him expect 
his appointed time as a herd expects his wages." Similarly the 
Buddhist. " The rahats do not desire to live, nor do they wish to 
die; they wait patiently for the appointed time." — Hardy, E. 
Men., 287. But from the answer of Punna (Puma) to Buddha, 
" There are some priests who from various causes are tired of life, 
and they seek opportunities whereby their lives may be taken, 
but this course I shall avoid" {id., Buddhism, p. 260) ; and from 
the fact that the perfected priest when " at the point of death 
would cause his body to be spontaneously burnt" (id., Monachism, 
261), we may presume that voluntary deaths among priests even 
in Buddha's time were not unfrequent and permissible on some 
occasions, i. e., were as among the Brahmans not very strictly pro- 
hibited, and that Megasthenes very fairly states both the doctrine 



142 INDIAN EMBASSIES, FROM 

well in health, and no evil whatever presses upon him, 
he will give notice of his intention to quit the world, 
and his friends will not try to dissuade him from it, but 
rather account him happy, and give him messages for 
their dead relations ; so firm and true is the conviction 
of this people that souls after death have intercourse 
with one another. When he has received all his com- 
missions, in order that he may quit the body in all 
purity,*^ he throws himself into a burning pile, and dies 
amid the hymns of the assembled crowd. And his 
nearest friends^^ dismiss him to his death more will- 
ingly than we our fellow -citizens when about to pro- 
ceed on some short journey. They weep over them- 
selves that they must continue to live, and deem him 
happy who has thus put on immortality. And among 
neither of these sects, as among the Greeks, has any 
sophist yet appeared to perplex them by asking, 
'If everybody did this, what would become of the 
world?'" 

Thus far Bardesanes on the Gymnosophists. To form 

and the practice, Ovk eivai doyfxa cfyriaiv eavrous e^ayeiv rovs Se iroi- 
ovpras Tovro peaviKovs KpivcffOai. — Geog. Hist. Grsec, II, 439. 

*o Megasthenes ascribes no particular virtue to the death by fire : 
it is merely the death preferred by fiery spirits, tows 5€ irvpttxrus as 

TTVpudoVfliVOVS, ih. 

^'^ The Relation des Yoyageurs Arabes, ninth century, thus de- 
scribes one of these self-immolations. The man " se met a courir 
dans les marches ayant devant lui des cymbales et entoure de sa 
famille et ses proches."...A crown of burning coals is placed upon 
his head. . . " Le homme marche la t^te en feu. . .et pourtant il marche 
comme si de rien n'etait, et on n'aper^oit sur lui aucun signe 
d'emotion : enfin, il arrive devant le bucher et s'y precipite^" — 
Eeinaud, i, 122. 



CLAUDIUS TO JUSTINIAN. 143 

any just estimate of the value of his information, we 
must compare it with the accounts given by more an- 
cient writers. The companions of Alexander speak of 
the Indian sophists and of them as divided into classes, 
but nowhere mention the Sarmanai^^ by name. Thus 
Aristobulus,^ of two Brahmans he saw at Taxila 
and who in the presence of Alexander displayed each in 
his own way his powers of endurance, remarks that 
while the younger wore all his hair, the elder was 
shaved.^ And Nearchus*^ distinguishes between the 
Brahmans who are engaged in political life and are 
councillors of the king, and those who give themselves 
up to the study and contemplation of nature, as Cala- 
nus. He adds, that with these last women philosophise, 
and that all lead austere lives. With Megasthenes as we 
know him from Strabo, Diodorus Siculus, and Arrian,*^ 
begins our knowledge of the Sarmanai. Of the philoso- 
phers generally he says they do no labour, pay no taxes, 
and are subject to no king ; that they are present at all 
sacrifices whether public or private, and preside over all 

^ Sarmanai, Sans, ^ramana, used by Megasthenes and his 
copyists. 

43 From Strabo, xv, I, 61. 

^* The shaved head would imply a Buddhist priest, described in 
the Prabodhatschandradaja as " Kahlgeschirner, Kopfbiischelver- 
zierter, Haarausraufer," p. 39, and whoever compares the whole 
account of this shaved Brahman, how he came to Alexander and 
followed him to the end, with Onesicritus's story of Calanus — save 
that no mention is made of this Brahman's voluntary death — will 
be inclined to think that he and Calanus are one and the same 
person. — Strabo, xv, I, 65. 

45 Strabo, ih., 66. 

46 Strabo, xv, I. Diodorus Siculus, II, 35. Arrian, Indica, vii. 



144 INDIAN EMBASSIES, FROM 

funeral rites f and that on New Year's Day tliey meet 
in tlie king's palace and there make known the future 
of the year, its events and harvests, and that he who 
thrice fails in his predictions is condemned to a life-long 
silence. These philosophers he divided into Brahmans 
and Sarmanai. 

Of these the Brahmans were the most honoured, 
because their opinions were the most fixed and uniform. 
The Brahman's education began even in his mother's 
womb. During the period of gestation she was soothed 
by songs and chaunts in praise of continence, which in 
proportion as they won her pleased attention bene-r 
ficially influenced her future offspring. After the child's 
birth and as he grew in years he was passed on from 
one preceptor to another, until he was old enough to 
become an auditor of the philosophers. These lived 
frugally, abstained from animal food and women, and in 
a grove outside the city spent their days in earnest 
discourse, communicating their knowledge to all who 
chose to listen. But in their presence the novice was 
not permitted to speak, or hawk, or spit, under the 
penalty of one day's banishment from their society. 
At the age of thirty-seven his student life ceased.^^ 

47 Menu, III, 124. 

48 (' The discipline of a student in tlie three Vedas may be con- 
tinued for thirty-six years in the house of his precepter, or for half 
that time/' etc. Menu, III, 1. That on his return home he lived 
more laxly and elegantly may be gathered from §§3, 61, 62, 
ife., and iv, 34. In the chapter on Diet, §§ 25-35, are the rules to 
be observed in eating flesh meat. Among the Jains, " A student 
till he is married should tie only a thread round his loins, with a 
rag to cover his nakedness." But " as soon as he is married, then 
he may dress properly at his pleasure." — As. Eesear. ix. 248. 



CLAUDIUS TO JUSTINIAN. 145 

The Brahman then returned to his home, lived more 
freely, wore gold rings and silk, and ate the flesh of 
such animals as were of no service to man, abstaining 
however from pungent and highly seasoned food. He 
married too as' many wives as he could, for the sake of 
offspring, but did not admit them to a fellowship in his 
philosophy. 

Of the Sarmanai, he writes that the Hylobioi were 
the most honoured. They dwelt in the w^oods, and 
subsisted on leaves and wild fruits, " wore a vesture of 
bark,"*^ and abstained from wine and venery. Through 
messengers they advised with the king on the causes of 
things, and w^ere employed by him as his intercessors 
before the gods. Next to them were the physicians. 
They too lived abstemiously, but not in the open air. 
They ate rice and flour, which they seem to have got by 
begging. They made barren women fruitful. They 
healed by diet rather than by medicine, and of medica- 
ments preferred cataplasms and unguents. Both they 
and the Hylobioi would remain a whole day in the 
same posture. Others were diviners, and skilled in the 
rites to be observed towards the dead, and they wan- 
dered as mendicants about the towns and villages. And 
yet another class, but more urbane and better nurtured 
than these last, was like them occupied with the things 
of Hades, in so far at least as they conduced to piety 
and a holy life. With some of these Sarmanai the 
women are allowed to philosophise^^ under a vow of 
chastity. • '^ 

*3 See on the third and fourth Orders. Menu, vi, 6, etc. 
^ Of the Sanyasi, "Let him repair to the lonely wood, coramit- 

L 



146 INDIAN EMBASSIES, FROM 

Another writer, quoted also by Strabo^^ towards the' 
close of the same chapter, speaks of the Pranmse^^ (no 
doubt for Sramnae as Garmanai for Sarmanai), as of a 
class opposed to the Bralimans, as argumentative^^ and 
contentious, and as jeering the Brahmans for their love 
of physiology and astronomy. They are Mountain or 
Gymnete or Political or Eural (Trpoo-^coptot). The Moun- 
tain Pramnse are clad in skins, and carry wallets full of 
roots and medicaments, and in their cures use charms 
and incantations. The Gymnetes as their name implies 
go naked, and for the most part live in the open air till 
their thirty -seventh year. They admit women to their 
society, but both they and the women are strictly 
chaste. The PoliticaP* and Eural classes live, the one 
in the city and are clad in silks; the other in the 
country and "wear for their mantles the liides of 
goats." 

ting the care of his wife to her sons, or accompanied by her, if she 
choose to attend him.*'— i6., 3 §. 

'^^ Geogr., XV, I, 70. 

^2 In a paper on the Religious Sects of the Hindus, I find that 
the late Professor Wilson derives the term Pramnse, from Pra- 
mana, proof, and inclines to think that they were Bauddhas ; the 
Sarmanai, on the other hand, ascetics generally. As however in 
his later years he identified, I believe, the Sarmanai with the 
Buddhist Shamans, his great authority can scarcely be brought 
to bear against the view I have taken. — As. Ees., xvii, pp. 
279-280. 

53 So in the legend of Samgha, when in his wanderings he finds 
a hermitage with five hundred Eishis, to avoid receiving him they 
say one to another, " Continuous de nous livrer a nos occupations 
ordinaires : ces Cramanas fils de Cakya sont de grands parleurs." 
— Burnouf, ut sup., 323. 

54 Menu, vii, 37, and compare 54 and 58, ib. 



CLAUDIUS TO JUSTINIAN. 147 

It would appear from these accounts that the com- 
panions of Alexander knew of Brahmans only, Mega- 
sthenes and our anonymous author of Brahmans and 
Sarmanai, and that they divided the Sarmanai into four 
classes. But of these four classes, it seems, that while 
the first two in both writers pretty fairly correspond 
with one another, the first of one with the second of 
the other, the two last have no one point in common, 
and can scarcely be intended to represent the same 
members of the same society; indeed, the Political and 
Eural Pramnse are much more like the Brahmans of 
Megasthenes than his Sarmanai — the one to his Brahmans 
whose novitiate or student life has ceased ; and the 
other to those of them who are philosophers. More- 
over the Gymnetes, who go naked and live in the open 
air, and the Hylobioi clad in bark and subsisting on 
leaves and wild fruits, bear some resemblance indeed to 
the Digambara of the Jains^^ and the Brahman Sann- 
yasi as painted by Menu, but very little to the Shaman 
or Buddhist priest as we know him, who wears and is 
obliged to wear a robe of a particular stuff and colour, 
and who lives on rice and grain generally, but who is 
also permitted when in bad health to eat ghee, oil, 
sugar, honey, and even flesh meat.^^ Again, the anony- 
mous author speaks of the Pramnae in no very favour- 
able terms, much as Brahmans might be expected to 

^ In tlie Prabod'h Chandradaya the Digambara is thus de- 
scribed : " His disgustful form is besmeared with ordure, his hair 
in wild disorder, his body naked and horrible to the view."— Act 
III, Taylor's trs. 

^6 Hardy, Monachism, p. 92. 



148 INDIAN EMBASSIES, FEOM 

speak of Buddhists ; but Megastlienes of the Sarmanai 
with a respect, an admiration which are so extra- 
ordinary for a resident at the court of a Brahminical 
sovereign, Chandragupta, that one may very fairly 
question whether his Sarmanai were indeed intended 
for Buddhist priests.^^ 

Take now Bardesanes' account. His Brahmans are 
hurriedly and superficially sketched, as if his pen had 
been guided by a Buddhist hand. His division of them 
into Mountain and Eiver^^ is unmeaning — really a dis- 
tinction without a difference, for both led the same 
ascetic lives in the same sort of solitude. But his 
Samanaeoi or Shamans are the Buddhist priests of our 
day. He shows us their order open to all who wish to 
take upon themselves its duties. But to enter it the 
aspirant must give up wife and children and property. 
He must shave his body and put on the yellow robe, 
and then retire to some vihara^^ where having made 
vows of chastity and poverty he lives supported by the 
alms of kings and the pious rich, and is thus enabled 

s7 (^ramanas, evidently Brahmans, accompany Arjouna on his 
twelveyears' retreat in the forest.— Mahabharata, ii, 237. Fauche, tr. 

^ Corresponding with the *' Mountain and Plain" Brahmans, 
probably, of Megasthenes. — Strabo, ut sujp. 

^9 In the early days of Buddhism, according to the " Book of the 
Twelve Observances" (Burnouf, ut sup., 304), another mode of life 
prevailed. " L' obligation de se retirer dans la solitude des forets, 
celle de s'asseoir aupres des troncs d'arbres, celle de vivre en plein 
air. . .sont certainement trois regies primitives." — Id., p. 311. Hardy 
says, " It was an ordinance of Buddha that the priests, who were 
then supposed to dwell most commonly in the wilderness, should, 
during the three months of the rainy season, reside in a fized habi- 
tation."— Monachism, 282, and Burnouf, 285-6. 



CLAUDIUS TO JUSTINIAN. 140 

to pass his days in prayer and discourse on heavenly 
things. His manner of life is decent, orderly, and 
temperate even in its austerity, and his retirement is at 
once cheerful and improving, and contrasts favourably 
with the sullen loneliness of the Brahman. Tor though 
the Brahmans have their agraharas^^ where the ordinary 
members of their caste are found collected together, and 
though the Buddhist ascetic notwithstanding his con- 
vents occasionally retires to the solitude of the forest ; 
yet is Bardesanes' account of the two priesthoods in 
this particular characteristic of the spirit of the two 
religions. In it we see the Brahman, who lives by him- 
self and for himself, with his strong will conquering 
the wants and appetites of his body, but indifferent to 
the wants and miseries of his fellows ; and in it the 
Buddhist not less earnest in self-sacrifice, but not 
neglectful of the social duties, cultivating a kind and 
genial nature, and knitting his own good to the good 
of mankind. 

But Bardesanes also represents both Brahmans and 
Shamans as willingly devoting themselves to death by 
fire. The self-cremation of widows of the higher castes 
was, within even a few years and until forbidden by 
law, no uncommon sight in India; but among men, 
Brahmans, this sort of death has long fallen into disuse. 
History tells of a Calanus, who with much parade and 



^ " Agrahara est le nom de tout terrain ou de tout village par- 
ticuli^reraent affecte aux Brahmanes. Dans le sud de rindc.on 
ne trouve presque pas d'endroit sans un agrahara habite par des 
Brahmanes seulement."— Eadja Tarangini, I, p. 348, note. Troyer 
trs. 



150 INDIAN EMBASSIES, FROM 

of Ms own free will died by fire in the presence of 
Alexander and his army ; and of a Cumarilla,^^ who to 
purify himself from the slaughter of heretical Buddhists 
ascended the funeral pile. But in modern times another 
form of suicide has been preferred. The Hindu pilgrim 
now toils up the snowy heights of the Himalaya to the 
sacred source of the Ganges, there to die ; or he 
commits himself to its stream, and thus perishes in its 
holy waters. He suffers and dies to ensure to himself 
a happy birth in his next existence. The Buddhist 
also has freely chosen the death by fire as before 
Augustus. And if ever Brahmans did so choose to die, 
and if these their deaths worked at all on the religious 
feelings of the people, I have no doubt that for every 
Brahman who so died two Buddhists stepped forward 
to die beside him, but with other and higher aims. 
They died not for themselves, but for the honour of 
their creed. They died as Buddha, who in a former 
existence laid himself down before a hungry tiger ; as 
the Arya Samgha,^^ who flung himself into the troubled 
sea to save the degraded Nagas; as Purna,^^ who to 
preach his master's law went forth to an expected 
death. They died as they had lived, for others' good. 
Their death was but a last and crowning self-sacrifice. 
Except in this sense, a voluntary death is contrary to 
the spirit of their religion and incompatible with its 
duties. 

But the Indian ambassadors also told Bardesanes of 

61 Tr. Eoyal Asiatic Society, I, 441. 

6- Burnouf, Introduction a I'Histoire du Bouddhisme, p. 317. 

63 zd,^ ib,^ pp. 253-4. 



CLAUDIUS TO JUSTINIAN.. 151 

a lake in their country, known as the Lake of Proba- 
tion,^ and of the use they make of it. When any one 
is accused of a crime and insists upon his innocence, 
the Brahmans ask liim if he will undergo the trial by 
water. If he refuse, he is sent away and punished as 
guilty. If he consent, they bring him down to this 
lake, and to check frivolous or malicious charges they 
bring his accusers down with him. Together they go 
into the water, which is knee-deep for everybody, and 
together pass over to the other side of the lake. The 
innocent man walks along without any fear, and is 
never wet above the knees ; but for the guilty, the 
water rises and rises till it is quite over his head, and 
he is then dragged out by the Brahmans, who hand him 
over to be punished in any way short of death. The 
Indian however rarely pushes matters to this extremity; 
he too much fears the ordeal by water. 

But besides this lake for voluntary, they have also 
another to try both voluntary and involuntary offences ; 
in fact to probe a man's whole life. Of this lake Barde- 
sanes, and I will quote his very words, has left the 
following account: — " In a very high mountain, situated 
pretty nearly in the middle of the earth, there was as 
he heard a large natural cave, in which was to be seen 



^* Trover, in his notes to the Eadja Tarangini, I, pp. 361-66, 
describes several sacred and extraordinary fountains in Cashmere 
which the credulity of the people, favoured by their distance and 
inaccessibility, may have easily worked up into the lakes of Bar- 
desanes. See also Ctesias's account of a fountain, the waters of 
which became solid, and which when given to drink as water made 
one tell everything one ever did. — Photius, 147 and 155. 



152 INDIAN EMBASSIES, FROM 

a statue,^^ ten or perhaps twelve cubits high, standing 
upright with its hands folded crosswise ; and the right 
half of its face, its right arm and foot, in a word its 
whole right side was that of a man ; its left, that of a 
woman ;^ and the indissoluble union of these two in- 
congruous halves in one body struck all who saw the 
statue with wonder. On its right breast was engraved 
the sun, on its left the moon; on its two arms were 
artistically sculptured a host of angels, mountains, a 
sea and a river together with the ocean and plants and 
living things, all that is. And the Indians told him 
that God, after he had created the world, gave this 
statue to his son^'' as a visible exemplar of his creation. 

^ The Eadja-Tarangini has a passage which reminds one of this 
cave and statue. " La possession de la jouissance de la beatitude 
eternelle devient le partage de ceux qui dans Tinterieur du sanc- 
tuaire de Papasudana (qui detruit tout peche) touchent I'image de 
bois de I'epoux Uma. La deesse Sandya entretient dans cette 
niontagne aride I'eau dans laquelle on reconnait ce qui est con- 
forme et ce qui ne Test pas a la vertu et au vice." — I, 32, 33, 
Slokas. Of this passage, however. Professor Goldstiicker has 
favoured me with the following translation : — " There those who 
touch the wooden image of Siva standing in the interior of the 
sacred place Papasudana, attain as their reward worldly enjoy- 
ment and final bliss, 32. There on the waterless mountain the 
goddess of twilight (the wife of Siva) places water to show to the 
virtuous that which will benefit (agree with), and to the wicked 
that which will injure (disagree with) them," 33. 

66 " La reunion de Civa et de Parvati dans un seul corps est le 
theme de Tin vocation par laquelle commence chaque livre du 
Eadja-Tarangini... Cette forme est I'objet d'une grande veneration 
dans rinde. Je rappellerai parmi les images... de I'ile d'Ele- 
phanta une statue colossale, representant Civa moitie homme et 
moitie femme avec une seule poitrine." — Radj., II, pp. 326, 328. 

67 TovTov TOP avbpiavTa (ftaai beSaiKeyai rov deov rcf vlcp 6ir7)viKa top 



CLAUDIUS TO JUSTINIAN. 153 

And I asked them, adds Bardesanes, of what this statue 
was made. And Sandanes assured me, and the others 

Kofffjiov cKTt^fv. — Stoboeus, Physica, Gaisford's ed., p. 54. This ex- 
pression indicates a Christian author, and indeed Bardesanes has 
been identified with the great heresiarch of that name, who lived 
in the second and third centuries, and who gained great celebrity 
by a work on Fate. In this case the Christian author was still 
living (A.D. 218, 222). Porphyry (a.d. 233, 304) says of the Barde- 
sanes he quotes, that "he lived in the time of our fathers." But 
the Christian Bardesanes presented his book, Cedrenus of the 
eleventh century affirms, to Antoninus Pius (a.d. 138, 161), and 
Epiphanius (ad. Heres., II, 3G, II, v. p. 477) speaks of him as 
faithful to the Church up to the death of Antoninus Yerus (a.d. 
169), and of this book as of one of his orthodox works; but this 
book, Eusebius (a.d. 324) asserts (Hist. Eccl., iv, 24, 30), he pre- 
sented to Marcus Antoninus, and further adds that he wrote it in 
consequence of the persecution of the Christians by Marcus (a.d. 
107, 177), and about the time Soter, Bishop of Rome, died (a.d. 
179). Now between the earliest and latest of these dates, the 
death of Antoninus Pius and the accession of Elagabalus, there 
elapsed fifty-seven years, and our author must either have been 
very young when he wrote his work on Fate, or very old when he 
published his Indica. Again, the Edessene Chronicle ( Assemanni, 
Bib. Orient., i, p. 47, note, and 389, note), gives the precise date 
of his birth, July 11, a.d. 154. On this authority he must have 
been seven years old when Antoninus Pius died, and twenty-five 
when Soter. And at twenty-five he might have written his book 
on Fate, and at sixty-four his Colloquy with the Indian Ambassa- 
dors. But of late years this " Book of Fate," or rather " Book of 
the Laws of Countries," has been found in the Syriac original, and 
in 1855 the Oriental Translation Fund published it in its entirety, 
together with a translation by the Eev. Mr. Cureton. The work 
is in the shape of a dialogue. Two youths who have been dis- 
coursing on " fate, free-will, fore-knowledge absolute," meet with 
Bardesanes, and appeal to his superior learning and wisdom. They 
address him sometimes as lord-^-a homage paid perhaps to his rank 
and relationship with the Abgari — and sometimes as father, a 
deference due only to his age and experience. He too alludes and 
appeals to former works of his, p. 5. " For it has been said by me 



154 INDIAN EMBASSIES, FROM 

confirmed liis words, that no man could tell ; that it was 
not gold or silver, nor yet brass or stone, nor indeed any 

in another place." When he wrote this work, then, he must have 
been a man of at least mid age, and either not born a.d. 154, or 
his book not written a.d. 179. Again, in the book itself are 
allusions which may assist us in fixing its date. In p. 30, " Be- 
cause as yesterday the Romans took Arabia and abrogated aU 
their ancient laws, and more especially that circumcision with 
which they circumcised." Mr. Cureton, Pref. iii, is of opinion that 
this passage refers to the conquest of Arabia by Marcus Aurelius 
(Lucius Verus), but of such a conquest I find no record, not even 
in the titles, Armeniacus, Parthicus, and Medicus, which the 
senate so lavishly bestowed on him and which he afterwards 
dropped. (Life, Smith's Hist.) But on the other hand, Trajan 
fEutropius, viii, 3):— "Arabum regem in fidem accepit," and 
•' Arabian! postea in provincise formam redegit." Bat to this 
conquest (a.d. 116), could Bardesanes, even a.d. 167, allude as " of 
yesterday?" I think not. Severus, however, a.d. 196, again 
conquered and reduced Arabia to a province (Eutropius, iii, 18). 
** Arabos simul adortus est, in ditionem redegit provincise modo." 
Aurelius Victor, xx, 14, 15, " Perearum regem Abgarum subegit, 
Arabas in deditionem accepit." Severi, Hist. Spartianus, Hist. 
Aug., I, V, p. 157. But if it is of this conquest Bardesanes speaks, 
then his book can scarcely have been written till after the death 
of Severus (a.d. 211), or in the reign of Caracalla (a.d. 211, 217). 
But as any such date is wide of the several dates ascribed to this 
work by the early Fathers, and as these dates are themselves wide 
of one another and very indefinite, we will examine how far such a 
date is consistent with the circumstances. The Edessene Chro- 
nicle gives the date of his birth so precisely, that I should be 
loath except on evidence to reject it, a.d. 154. His book as we 
have seen indicates that it was written at least in mid-age, perhaps 
in old age; if written a.d. 214, it would have been written eighteen 
years after the conquest of Arabia by Severus — neither too late 
nor too early for the " but as yesterday," and when he was sixty 
years of age — when he might well quote other works of his own, 
and be addressed as lord or father.* But tradition spoke of this 



* The several dates in the above notes are at variance with 
those generally received. When I suggested them to the late 



CLAUDIUS TO JUSTINIAK 155 

other known material; but that, though not wood, it 
was likest a very hard and sound wood. And they 
told how a certain king of theirs had on a time tried to 
pluck one of the hairs off from about its neck, and how 
he was so struck down with terror, that he hardly reco- 
vered his senses and then only after long intercession of 
the Brahmans. They said that on its head was the 

work as having been presented to Antoninus, and hence the em- 
broglio of dates. *" Now Bardesanes, a Syrian and of the Abgari, 
could not but know and be known to the Emesene Elagabahis ; and 
it is neither, improbable that on Elagabalus's nomination to the 
Empire he should present him, evidently of a religious turn of 
mind, with a work already of repute and which was Christian 
rather because it was catholic, than because it contained any 
special Christian doctrine ; nor that when he so presented it, he 
should address the Emperor as Antoninus— a name he much 
affected and by which he was in Syria generally known. But if 
the Christians carefully chronicled the interview of Origen and 
Mammcea, is it not probable that they would likewise bruit abroad 
the honour conferred on this work of Bardesanes, and associated 
too with the name of Antoninus ? But the name of Antoninus as 
applied to Elagabalus, can scarcely be said to have ever obtained 
in either Greece or Eome — see, however, Capitolini Macrini, vii. 
Hist. Aug. Script. — and in Epiphanius' time was probably only 
given to Pius and Marcus ; what more natural then than that the 
Fathers, when they heard of this presentation copy, should refer it 
to one or other of these great Emperors — more especially as the 
work was not heretical, and must therefore be a work of Barde- 
sanes' younger days ? though so far as that goes, it might just as 
well have been written by a Jew as a Christian. 



Mr. Cureton, he summarily rejected them. Merx and Hilgenfeld, 
in their Monographs on Bardesanes, have, however, approved of 
and adopted them. Hilgenfeld entirely, v. Bardesanes d. letzte 
Gnostiker, pp. 12 and 28. Merx, with some hesitation, Bardesanes 
V. Edessen p. 20, comp. p. 130. Let me add that both are of 
opinion that the work cannot be by Bardesanes. 



158 IXDIAX EMBASSIES, FROM 

image of a god seated as on a throne, and that in the 
great heats it would run down with such a sweat, as 
would unless stopped by the fanning of the Brahmans 
wet the earth around. Well, further on beyond the 
statue, it was according to the Indians very dark, and 
those who wished to go so far took with them lighted 
torches, and went on till they came to a sort of door, 
whence a stream of water welling out fell into or formed 
a lake in the deepest recesses of the cave. Through 
this door those who wish to prove themselves are 
obliged to pass. For the pure-minded it opens itself 
out very wide so that they enter easily enough, and 
within they find a fountain of the brightest and sweetest 
water,^ the source of the stream I spoke of. The 
wicked however struggle long and vainly to get in, for 
the entrance closes in upon them ; at length they are 
forced to confess their sins, and to ask the others to 
intercede for them, and they are made to fast a long 
time. 

Sandanes further told, that on a certain day the 
Brahmans flock to this place ; that some spend their 
lives there, but that others come in the summer and 
autumn when fruit is plenty, both to see the statue and 
to meet their friends, and to prove their lives by means 
of the door. They at the same time examine and 
discuss the sculptures on the statue ; for it is not easy 
to understand them all, both because of their number, 
and because no one country contains all plants and 

^ 4»a(Tt Se €^aip€Tov avrois eivai (xiav ■mjyrjv tt\v ttjs aA7j0eta5 iroKv 
TravTuu apicrrrju kui deioraTTjv, ^s ovderrore rovs yevcrafj.evovs efJLirnrXaaQai, 
Dio Chryso., II, 72. 



CLAUDIUS TO JUSTINIAK 157 

animals. This then is what the Indians relate con- 
cerning the ordeal by water. 

This Lake of Probation Lassen connects with the 
ordeal by water ; one of the ordeals^^ which on a defi- 
ciency or absence of testimony is allowed and even 
prescribed by the Hindu law (Menu, viii, 190; and 
Colebrooke, Hindu Law, I, 503-5). Of the manner in 
which these ordeals are performed, Warren Hastings has 
given an interesting account in the first volume of the 
Asiatic Researches. In that by water, which except in 
that it is by water and conducted by a Brahman, re- 
sembles in nothing Bardesanes' Lake of Probation — the 
accused is made, to stand in water either flowing or 
stagnant up to his navel, and then holding the foot of a 
Brahman to dive and remain under as long as a man 
can walk fifty paces very gently, or till two men have 
fetched back two arrows which have been previously 
shot from a bow. If, before the man has walked thus 
far or the two men have brought back the arrows, the 
accused rise above the water, he is condemned ; if not, 
acquitted. 

In the cave of the second lake, Weber''^ finds the first 
Greek notice of a Hindu temple, and Lassen^^ sees one 

^ In the Eadja-tarangini, the widow of a Brahman applies tjo 
the king to punish the murderer of her husband, and names a 
Brahman whom she suspects, but refuses the ordeal by water. 
" O radja, cet homme est connu pour ^tre verse dans le fameux art 
de Teau, il pent sans crainte arreter le jeu divin." — iv, 94, p. 121, 
II, V. Eventually they try the ordeal by flour of rice, and the 
Brahman is convicted. " Le roi lui infligea toute punition sauf la 
punition de la mort." — 105. 

70 Indische Skizzen, p. 86, note. 

71 Indische Alterthumskunder, III, 351. 



158 INDIAN EMBASSIES, FROM 

of tlie cave temples so frequent on the western coast of 
the Indian peninsula. The statue he identifies with that 
of Siva as Ardhanari, or half-man half- woman, and of 
Siva also recognised as the Supreme God. The image 
on the head is that of the Ganges, the angels are 
Devas, and the characters on his arms are typical of 
him as the Creator.'^^ The door and the great sweat he 
explains as pious frauds, and the sacrilegious king as a 
legend invented and promulgated by priests to secure 
the treasures which they habitually deposited within 
their statues. On "Weber's conjecture I would observe, 
that the cave is a natural cave and seemingly in its 
natural state, without pillars or carvings in relief; but 
nevertheless a cave which the patient fervour of a re- 
ligious idea may hereafter develope into a cave temple. 
Lassen's conjectures have an air of probability about 
them ; but still it seems to me that the lake and the 
cave are each in its kind unique ; that with regard to 
the first, we have no indication whatever of its locality ; 
and, with regard to the second, the very indefinite one, 



'2 A statue of Siva and Parvati united, or as Ardhanari, is in 
tlie Elephanta cave. — Moor's Pantheon, p. 98. And in plates 7 and 
24 of the same work are representations of Ardhanari, two seated 
and one standing. On each side of the united deities are the bull 
and tiger, the Nandis of Siva and Parvati respectively, but in pi. 
7 interchanged. In all the figures 

" From the moon-silvered locks famed Ganga springs ;'* 
but in pi. 7 the goddess is seen personally with the serpent's head 
over her; all bear the soli-lunar emblem on the forehead, the 
drum and trident or sword in the hands, and the collar of flowers 
or skulls about the neck ; but on none are to be found the sym- 
bolical characters which adorned the statue of Sandanes. 



CLAUDIUS TO JUSTINIAN. 159 

that it is in a very high mountain^^ somewhere near 
the centre of the earth ; not therefore in the country 
of Sandanes or Sadanes, if he came from Ardjake or 
the Malabar coast as Lassen supposes. I cannot but 
think that our ambassadors spoke of this lake and 
mountain not from knowledge but from hearsay, and 
that they repeated stories current in their country, 
which they conscientiously believed perhaps, but for 
which there was about the same foundation as for that 
Fontaine de Jouvence so famous in old romance. 

But as between India and the Eoman empire there 
never existed any interchange of thought or any 
common sympathies, the allusions to India in Eoman 
literature are at the most but indications of that curi- 
osity which is excited by commercial intercourse. But 
that intercourse was in the hands of the merchants of 
Alexandria and Palmyra. These cities, situated, one on 
the shores of the Mediterranean, the other in the midst 
of a desert far inland and halfway between Mesopotamia 
and Syria, can scarcely be said to have had any direct 
communication with India. They could not be reached 
but by a long portage and river navigation : and yet the 
facilities which the one as the great seaport of the 

78 Perhaps in the north of India, towards Mount Meru, where 
also is that cave of Pluto, irapa rois Apiavois tois IvdiKois, described 
by ^lian, xvi, 16, with its mystic recesses, its secret paths stretch- 
ing deep underground and leading no one knows whither, but 
down which, when the people drive them, all sorts of animals wil- 
lingly hurry never to return ; though who will may hear the bleat- 
ing of sheep, the lowing of oxen, and the neighing of horses, 
coming up from the depths of the earth. 



160 INDIAN EMBASSIES, FROM 

Koman empire afforded to the transit of western mer- 
chandise, and the advantages which the other derived 
from its proximity to India and the comparatively 
small cost at which it obtained and delivered the pro- 
ducts of India, gave them the monopoly of Eoman trade 
with the East. The Alexandrian route Pliny'^^ has 
traced out. At Juliopolis, the river port and a suburb 
of Alexandria, our merchants embarked with their 
goods, and favoured by the prevailing north wind sailed 
up the Canoptic branch of the Nile, and in twelve days 
reached Coptos, distant three hundred and three miles, 
a city of a mixed population, Egyptian and Arabian,^^ 
and communicating with the Nile by a canal. Here 
they left their boats, and with their merchandize 
on camel-back pushed across plains and over mountains 
to Berenice, another twelve days' journey, travelling 
mostly by night because of the heat, and regulating 
their halts by the wells on the road. At Berenice, a 
seaport on the southern frontier of Egypt, they met the 
fleet intended for India. The ships of which it was 
composed were large, well-found and manned, and 
carried besides a body of armed men as a safeguard 
against the pirates who infested the Indian seas.^^ 
Erom Berenice, about midsummer time or in the begin- 

74 Hist. Nat., vi, 26. 

"^^ Kot 7] €IS KOTTTOU dlOOpCC^, TTOKlV K01V7IV AiyVITTKiOV TS KUl ApaficCV. 

Strabo, xviii, I, 44. 

76 " Sagittariorum coliortibTis impositis : etenim piratse maxinje 
infestant." — Pliny, ib. irAet 8e cis ifiiropia ravra fx^yaha irKoia, Peri- 
plus, § 56 ; and see also the description of an Egyptian ship in the 
Indian trade, from Philostratus' Life of ApoUonius, suj^ra, pp. 49, 
50, and note 9, p. 50. 



CLAUDIUS TO JUSTINIAN. 161 

ning of the dog-days, they set sail, and in thirty days 
made Ocelis, or Cane, the one on the eastern shore 
of the Straits of Bab-el-Mandeb, the other on the 
western coast of Arabia in the frankincense country, 
and thence or from Syagrus to the north of Cane they 
struck out through the open sea for Muziris, in Pliny's 
time the haunt of pirates, or for Necanidon (Nelcyndon) 
or Barake, a forty days' sail. At Barake they took in 
pepper, which was brought there in native boats from 
Cottonara. In the month of December or in the begin- 
ning of January they returned taking advantage of the 
south-east monsoon, and when they entered the Red 
Sea of the westerly wind. So far Pliny. But when he 
wrote the trade with India was in its infancy; as it 
developed itself, in the marts which Alexandrian ships 
most frequented Greek factories^^ were probably esta- 
blished to which the merchants consigned their goods, 
and which managed all their business with the authorities 
and the people. In this way we may account for the 
Greek names of towns on the Indian seaboard, and for 

77 I have no direct authority for this ; but besides such names 
on the Indian coast as Byzantium, found also in the Periplus, etc., 
Ptolemy, speaking of the situation of some Indian town, states 
that he has it from those who had resided in the country some 
time, rrapa roou ttrrevdev eKTirXeuaavrwv Kai xoovov yrheiaTov unKQavTUv 
Touj TOTTous Kai irapa tcdv fKeiOev acpiKO/xevoou irpos ^juas. — Proleg. I, xvii. 
And though much later in time, Procopius says of Abraham, whom 
the Homerites elected their king, that he was the slave of a 
Roman, and lived at Adule as (a ship agent or broker). 'O Se 
KfipafjLOS ovros XP^(f'^^°-vos "nv, ^ovXos 5e Poj^atou av^pos, ev iro\fi...ASov- 
XiSi fTTt tt; Kara OaKaaaav tpyaaitf Siarptfirjv ex®"''"''*' — ^® Bello Per- 
sico, I, 20. 

M 



162 INDIAN EMBASSIES, FROM 

that temple of Augustus near Muziris — if it ever ex- 
isted — which appears in the Peutingerian tables. 

Of the course of trade to and through Palmyra we 
know little. Palmyra we have every reason to believe 
had no ships of its own. Arab and perhaps native 
vessels brought the produce of India up the Persian 
Gulf to the mouth of the Euphrates ; and, if they did 
not themselves ascend the river, at Teredon they dis- 
charged their cargoes'^^ intended for Vologesia, which 
was reached either by land on camels or in vessels of 
lighter draught by the river; but in w^hat time — the 
distance was nearly two hundred and fifty miles — I am 
unable to ascertain. At Vologesia however, a two days' 
journey from their city, the merchants of Palmyra took 
tip the trade. In its market or fair, held always at 
some little distance from the town itself, they met the 
Arab or Indian traders, and exchanged with them by 
sale and purchase the manufactures of the West for the 
goods and produce of India. By this trafl&c Palmyra 
silently but so rapidly grew in wealth and power, that 
its prince and king, Odenatus, with his own forces and 
by his energy and generalship saved the Roman empire, 



78 Vide Strabo, xv. III, 5, and Pliny, vi, 22. Very possibly the^ 
Bailed up to Vologesia itself, for a passage in the Meadows of 
Gold of Masoudi, to which Sir Henry Eawlinson called my atten- 
tion, speaks of ships from India and China as in the fifth century 
of our era lying at Hira, a little to the south-west of Babylon, 
247, Sprenger's tr., and Eeinaud's Observations, pp. xxxv-vi, with 
note I, Eelations Arabes. With Apologus probably, and with 
Omana certainly, the Hindus in the time of the Periplus carried 
on a trade in native boats from Barygaza. — Periplus Anonym., 
§36. 



CLAUDIUS TO JUSTINIAN, 163 

and for his services to the Eoman state was raised by 
Gallienus, A.D. 266, to the title of Augustus J^ At his 
death its queen, his widow Zenobia, ventured to throw 
off her allegiance to Eome. For a moment she held the 
sovereignty of the East,^^ but was at length defeated 
and taken prisoner by Aurelian, who at the same time 
pillaged and destroyed Palmyra,^^ A.D. 275, and thus put 
an end to the Eoman trade with India through the 
Persian Gulf. 

The Alexandrian trade with India, unlike the Pal- 
myrene, was not broken up by any one great catastrophe. 
It remained some time stationary ; but from the reign 
of Caracalla it rapidly declined, and when Palmyra was 
destroyed it was in so languishing a state, that in so 
far at least as it was a trade directed and controlled by 
Alexandrian merchants it may almost be said to have 
died out. Among the circumstances which affected its 
prosperity, we may reckon : — 

I. The privileges accorded to Palmyra by the Emperor 
Hadrian. The comparatively short sea passage of the 
Palmyrene route, and the very situation of Palmyra, 
must have soon drawn to its markets not only such 
commodities as were intended to supply the wants of 
the neighbouring districts, but such also as before they 
were fitted for consumption required the manufacturing 
aid of the great cities of Phoenicia, as e.g. silk, of which 
the Indian mart was Nelcyndon, and which, if brought 

79 Vide PoUio, Hist. Gallieni. Hist. Aug. Script., x, xii, pp. 
90, 92. 

80 Vide Zosimus, Lib. I, 440. 

8^ Vide M. Aurelianus Vopisci, xxxi. Hist. Aug. Script., II, 176. 



164 INDIAN EMBASSIES, FROM 

over in its raw state or in the thread/^ was taken to 
Berytus or Tyre^^ to be made up into stuffs ; or if in 
stuffs, to Tyre or Sidon to be dyed.^* The Palmyrene 
route then once opened must have affected the Alex- 
andrian trade with India, and must so far have counter- 
acted the stimulus given to it, first by Eoman protection, 
and afterwards by the discovery of the monsoons, as to 
have stayed its further development. But there was 
ample room for both, and to spare. The Alexandrian 
people however, filled with the jealousy and hate usually 

82 If it was brought in stuffs was it re-made ? Pliny, Philemon 
Holland's tr. "The Seres kemb from the leaves of their trees 
the hoary down — ' Velleraque, ut foliis depectunt tenuia Seres,' 
Georgics II, 121 — and when it is steeped in water, they card and 
spin it, yea, and after their manner make thereof a web ; where- 
upon the dames herewith us have a double labour both of undoing 
and also of reweaving again this kind of yarn. See what ado 
there is about it ! What labour and toil it costeth, and how far 
fet it is, and all that our ladies and wives when they go abroad 
in the street may cast a lustre from them and shine again, in 
their silks and velvets." — I, p. 124. From this mention of silk 
and the Seres we cannot conclude any knowledge of the coun- 
try, for in an account of London written in the reign of Henry II, 
twelfth century, we are told of the merchandize found there, "the 
Seres send purple garments." — Antiquarian Repository, 246, I. 

^^ 'Ifiaria ra ck fiera^r]s ev Br}^>vTa> fiiv Kai Tvpcp -noK^ai. rais evi 
^oiviKTjs epya^eaOai e/c TraAatou cioodei. ol re tovtwv €/j.Tropoi re Kai cirtdr]- 
fitovpyoi Kai TexftTot ivravOa ro avcKadfP (pKOvu, evOevSe re fs "yqv airaaav 
<pspea6ai to e.u'ToAijjua tovto ^we^aivev. — Procopius, Hist. Arcana, c. 
25, p. 140, and Ammianus Marcellinus, xiv, 9, 7. 

^ " Quid lineas ^gypto petitas loquar ? Quid Tyro et Sidone 
tenuitate perlucidas micantes purpura, plumandi difficultate per- 
nobiles ?" — Vopiscus, Carinus, xx. Hist. Aug. Scrip. That the 
stuffs from Tyre and Sidon were of silk, I gather from the " difiicul- 
tate plumandi." — X'^'^^^ ^'^ ixera^Tjs cyHaWcoTnauaa-i XP^f^ois Travraxodev 
wpaivofxivos, a 5e vevofxr\Kaai TrXovn/xia KaAeiv. — Procopius de ^dificiis, 
III, 1, p. 247, and Ammianus MareelL, xiv, 9, 7. 



. CLAUDIUS TO JUSTINIAN. 165 

induced by commercial antagonism, assailed with taunts 
and sneers and ribald jests those emperors wlio specially 
favoured the rival city — Hadrian,^^ who gave it its 
privileges, and Caracalla and his mother who were almost 
native there. Hadrian heard and despised their abuse ; 
Caracalla^^ treacherously and savagely avenged it ; and 
his massacre of the people and plunder of the foreign 
merchants was a blow from which Alexandria did not 
easily recover. 

II. The disturbed state of the Eoman Empire from 
the death of Alexander Severus, a.d. 235, to that of 
Aurelian, a.d. 275. During this dreary period of Eoman 
story, Palmyra, almost independent, on a distant fron- 
tier, and not subjected to the influences of a turbulent 
garrison and an ambitious general, went on to the very 
hour of its fall uninterrupted in its career of prosperity. 
Under its able chief, from a rich but merely commercial 
city, it became a powerful state. Alexandria, on the 
other hand, in the very centre of civil discord, was 
driven on by its excitable people to take a prominent 
part in every, civil war.^^ It itself set up or readily 
acknowledged as emperor more than one unsuccess- 

85 Vide note 6, p. 127, supra, from the Hist. Aug-. Scrip. 

®s Besides Lis massacre of the citizens, he cotnpelled all strangers 
to leave the city, except merchants, and to tKeivuu vavTa dirjpnarrdri. 
Dio. Cass., c. 22, 77 L. He also took away the Jus Bulentarium 
conceded to them by Severus. — Id., c. 17, 51 L. 

^~ " Sed Alexandria... internis seditionibus diu aspere fatigata, 
ad uUimum multis post aunis Aureliano imperium agente, civili- 
bus jurgiis ad certamina interneciva prolapsis, diratisque moenibus, 
amisit regionis maximam partem, quae Bruchion appellabatui*, 
diuturnum proBstantium hominum domicilium.^' — Amm. Mar., xxii, 
16, § 15. 



166 INDIAN EMBASSIES, FEOM 

ful competitors^ for the imperial purple. Ever on the 
losing side, it necessarily suffered much, and was indeed 
once taken and held by the forces of Zenobia, and twice 
besieged and sacked and its principal and noblest quar- 
ter destroyed by Eoman armies.^^ Under such circum- 
stances trade was neglected, and that with India as 
carried on from a distant port so fell away, that it no 
longer found employment for large fleets of large ships, but 
was in the hands of a few rich merchants, as Firmus,^^ 
who probably derived from it more honour than profit. 

III. The weakness of the Eoman Empire. It was no 
longer able to repel the incursions of the barbarians, 
who everywhere pressed upon its ill-guarded frontiers. 
And the Blemmyes, a fierce people whose heads once 

^ As ^milianus, xxi, Tr. Tyranni Treb. PoUio. Saturninus 
and Firmus, vid. Flav. Vopis., Hist. Aug. Scrip., pp. 123, 228, etc., 
pp. ii, V. 

^^ Eusebius (Hist. Eccl., vii) tells of the misery and confusion 
in Alexandria, a.d. 261, the consequence of sedition and civil war ; 
ih., 22, of the plague which afflicted it ; and ih., 32, of its siege 
and capture, and the destruction of Bruchium. In the Chron. 
Canon., under Claudius, a.d. 273, " Alexandrise suburbium post 
diutinam obsidionem summo excidio deletum est." — p. 392, ed. 
Maius et Zohrab. 

^ Vopiscus dwells on the wealth of Firmus: '' De hujus divitiis 
multa dicuntur, nam et vitreis quadraturis, bitumine aliisque 
medicamentis insertis, domum indurisse perhibetur; et tantum 
habuisse de chartis, ut publice ssepe diceret, exercitum se alere 
posse papyro et glutino. Idem et cum Biemyis societatem maxi- 
mam tenuit et cum Saracenis ;" and then adds, " naves quoque ad 
Indos negotiator ias scepe misit : ipse quoque dicitur habuisse duos 
dentes elephant! pedum denum." — ib., 230, p. II. Vopiscus de- 
scribes the wealth of Firmus in so far as it was extraordinary, 
rare, and with this classes his ships to India. After him I cannot 
anywhere find that ships went from Alexandria to India. 



CLAUDIUS TO JUSTINIAN. 167 

did grow beneath tlieir shoulders,^^ so infested the 
neighbourhood of Berenice, that Firmus — one of the last 
of the Alexandrian merchants who sent ships to India — 
no doubt from motives of interest sedulously culti- 
vated their friendship. They seem to have occupied 
Coptos and Ptolemais, for Probus^^ (a.d. 279) is said to 
have recovered these towns from them. But with Cop- 
tos — the town where portage on the route to India 
either began or ended — in the hands of a savage race, 
Alexandrian trade with India if not diverted into some 
other channel was impossible ; and that for the present 
it came 'to a stand the wretched state of Alexandria and 
Rome leads us to believe; but that in time Indian 
trade again flowed into Alexandria, though under other 
conditions and by other means than of old, I shall en- 
deavour to show in another paper. 

91 "Blemrayis capita absunt vultus in peetore est." — Pomp. 
Mela., I, viii, 60. But Eome was able to form a more correct 
opinion of them after the triumph of Aurelian in which they 
figured: "praetor captivos gentium barbarum, Blemyes...Indi, 
Bactriani, Saraceni, Persae."— Vopiscus, ih., 178, II. The Indi 
and Bactriani must have been captives from Palmyra. 

92 Vopiscus, Probus xvii, ib., 221, II. 



ON THE 

INDIAN EMBASSIES TO EOME. 
Part II. 



ON 

THE IISTDIAN EMBASSIES TO EOME, 

FROM THE KEIGN OF CLAUDIUS TO THE DEATH 
OF JUSTINIAN. 



PART II. 



After the fall of Palmyra and the many disasters 
which about this time overwhelmed Alexandria, the far 
east ceased to occupy the Eoman mind or much place in 
Eoman literature. India and the name of Buddha are 
however to be met with in Christian controversial writ- 
ings of the third and fourth centuries directed against the 
Mauichaean heresy. They occur, in Archelaus' account 
of his disputation with the heresiarch Manes held at 
Charra in Mesopotamia^ (a.d. 275-9), in the Catecheses 
of Cyril of Jerusalem (a.d. 361), and in the heresies of 
Epiphanius (a.d. 375), which aU trace back the Mani- 
chsean doctrine to one Scythianus and his disciple Tere- 

1 Vide Archelai et Manetis Disputatio : ed. Zacagnii, p. 1, pp. 
93-4. This work written originally in Syriac I refer to, because it 
is Cyril's and Epiphanius's authority for their notices of Scythianus. 
Cyril says this heresy sprang up in the reign of Probus (a.d. 276- 
82), Catechesis, vi, 20. Cedrenus, a mere copyist and a bungling 
copyist, makes Manes a Brahman and identical with Scythianus, 
& Kai ^Kvdtafos ^tyonevos $pa)(fxavrjs r)v ro ytvos, but he gives him 
Boi/8as, formerly Terebinthus, for a teacher, to whom he ascribes 
the four Manichsean books. Hist. p. 455, I, Bonn ed. 



172 INDIAN EMBASSIES, FEOM 

bintlius, wliom they connect with India in this wise. 
Scythianus, of Scythian descent, but by birth a Saracen 
of tlie Saracens of Palestine and thus familiar with the 
Greek language and literature,^ was a merchant engaged 
in the India trade. In the course of his business he had 
several times visited India, and while there, being a 
man of an inquiring mind and great natural parts,^ had 
made himself acquainted with the Indian philosophy.* 
In his maturer years, having amassed great wealth, he 
returned homeward, and at Hypsele^ in the Thebais, fell 
in with an Egyptian slave girl,^whom he bought and mar- 
ried, and who persuaded him to settle in Alexandria.^ 
Here he applied himself to the study of and mastered 
the Egyptian learning,^ and here formed those peculiar 

2 ^Kv9iavov...aTro rr)s Sapa/fTjfT;? bofioiixivov Kara 5e to repfxara tt^v 
HaKaiffTtjvrjs, tout' ((tti ev rr) ApaBia, avaTpa<l>€UTO$' ovto^ 6 2,KvOiavos fV 
TOis ifpoiiprifJiivois 701T015 TTttiSeuOets ttji/ 'EWrji'cov 'yXoiaaav nat TTjf ruv 
ypafifxaTcop avrwu traihuav. Epiphan. Ad. Hseres, L. II, Tom. II, 
H£B., m, § i, p. 618, I. V. 

3 " Valde dives ingenio et opibus sicut hi qui sciebant eum per 
traditionem nobis quoque testificati sunt." Archelaus, ih. 

4 Epiphanius, wbo writes with theological bitterness throughout, 
alone alludes to his Indian acquirements, but makes him little 
better than an Indian juggler : Kai yao kui yorjs t^v otto ttjs rmv Iv^wv 
Kai AiyuTTTUv Kai fQvofivQov auiptas, ih., § 3. 

^ irhovTcp iroWcp eirapdeis Kai KTrjuairip T^hucrixaroDU Kai tois aWois rois 
arro ttis IvSias, Kai eKdcov irepi Trjv 0/j)8at5a ets "Viprj^V^- Epipb., ib., § 2. 

6 According to Ai*chelaus " quandam captivam accepit uxorem, 
de Thebaide," u.s. According to Epiphanius, he took her from a 
common brothel : aviAo/ieuos tout' ano rov areyuvs {farrjKf yap t) Toiaurri 
tu rri iroKvKoivcp aire/ivoTijTt ) €TeKadea9rj rep yvvaip, ib., p. 619. 

' " Quse eum suasit habitare in iEgypto magis quam in desertis," 
ib., and Cyril, C. vi, c. xxii, ttj^ A\€^uv5pfiav oucrjo-av, he thus locates 
him in Alexandria. Ib., p. 184, I. Eeischl, ed. 

8 " In qua provincia cum . . . habitaret, Egyptiorum sapientiam 
didicisset." Archelaus, ib. 



CLAUDIUS TO JUSTINIAN. 173 

opinions wlncli with the assistance of his one disciple 
and slave, Terebinthus, he embodied in four books,^ the 
source of all Manichaean doctrine. Here too he heard 
of the Jewish Scriptures ; and wishing to converse with 
the Jewish doctors^^ he set forth with Terebinthus for 
Jerusalem, and in Jerusalem met and in a scornful and 
self-willed spirit disputed with the Presbyters of the 
Church, and there after a short time died.^^ At his 
death, Terebinthus either inherited or seized upon his 
books and other wealth, and hurrying to Babylon pro- 
claimed himself learned in the wisdom of Egypt.^^ He 

9 Epiphanius, § 2 ih., and Cyril assert tliat Scythianus wrote 
these books; Arcbelaus on the other hand, that Terebinthus was 
their author. These books Mysteriorum, Capitulorum, Evangelium, 
(ov XP^^'''""'"^ pa^fi^ Trepiexofra, Cyril, ib.) et novissimum omnium 
Thesaurum appellavit." Archelaus, ih. 

^'^ EireiS/; Se cKriKuei ttcos ol npo^rjrat Kai 6 vo/jios inpi ttjs rov Koafiov 
cvaraaews, etc. Epiphanius, ib., § 3: " I'lacuit Scythiano discurrere 
in Judseam, ut ibi congrederetur cum omnibus quicunque ibi vide- 
bantur doctores." Archelaus, ib. Cyril merely mentions that he 
■went to Judsea and polluted the country by his presence ; /cot 

XvixfivaaQai ttji' x^P°^^i '^^• 

^^ 'O irpos Tovs e/fejo-6 T]p(a$VTepov$ avrifiaWeiv Tjp^aro. Epiphanius 
L. II, III, p. 620, places all this in the time of the Apostles, wept 
TOWS x^ofoi/s Twv AirmoXoop, quite impossibly. 

12 Epiphanius will have it that he fell from the house-top and so 
died — the death also of Terebinthus. Archelaus merely says that 
arrived in Judea he died ; and Cyril, that he died of a disease sent 
by the Lord, rov voacf Bavarwras b Kvpios, ib. 

13 Terebinthus dicens omni se sapientia iEgyptiorum repletum 
et vocari non jam Terebinthums ed alium Buddam nomine, sibique 
hoc nomen impositum, ex quadam autem virgine natum se esse, 
simul et ab Angelo in montibus enutritum." — Archelaus, p. 97. 
Epiphanius asserts that he took the name of Buddha, ha /xtj Kara- 
^wpos yevTjT at, ib. Cyril, omitting the virgin birth, that he took it 
because he was known and condemned in Judea for his doctrine. 



174 INDIAN EMBASSIES, FROM 

also took the name of Buddha [BovBBa^, Buddas), and 
gave out that he was born of a virgin, and had been 
brought up on the mountains by an angel.^* 

Some years after Epiphanius (died a.d. 401), Hiero- 
nymus (died a.d. 420) incidentally notices the birth of 
Buddha. Having enlarged on the honour in which 
virginity has ever been held, and how to preserve it 
some women have died, or how to avenge its enforced 
loss others have killed either themselves or their 
ravishers, he goes on to say, that among the Gymnoso- 
phists there is a tradition, that Buddha the founder of 
their philosophy was born from the side of a virgin.^^ 

Of these writers Hieronymus is the only one who 
directly refers to the Indian Buddha, and of ancient 
writers is the first who correctly narrates the manner of 

ih.y § 23. But Petrus Siculus, a.d. 790, and Photius, 890, give 
lurther details : 'O /xev ^KvOiauos fToK/x-qae narepa eavrou oponaaar 6 
8e BovSSas vtov lou &eou Kai IlaTpos, ck irapdevov 5e yeyeuriadai Kai €V tois 
optaiv auarp6(pea6ai. 'Odev Kai ScuSewa nadrjTai 6 auTi\piaros tt/s irAoyrjs 
KTjpvKas air«TT€iXfv. ' Reischl, note to Cyril, ib. 

14 Besides this Buddha, Terebinthus, there is a second Buddas, 
Baddas, or Addas, one of the twelve disciples of Manes, who 
preached his doctrine in Syria ; and a third Bud or Buddas Perio- 
dutes, who lived a.d. 570. " Christianorura in Persidi finitimisque 
Indiarum regionibus curam gerens. Sermonem Indicum coluisse 
dicitur, ex quo librum Calilagh et Damnagh ( Kalilah va Dimna, 
de bonis moribus et apta conditione animi, Geldemeister de Eebus 
Ind.,p. 104) Syriace reddidit." — Asseman. Bib. Orientalis, III, zl9, 
but as the work had been already translated into Persian by order of 
Choroes (a.d. 531-579) " Syriacam versionem proxime post Per- 
sicam fecit Bud Periodutes." — Asseman., ib., p. 222. 

1= Contra Jovianum Epistolas, Pt. I, Tr. II, c. 26: "Apud 
Gymnosophistas inde quasi per manus hujus opinionis traditur 
auctoritas, quod Buddam principem dogmatis eorum e latere suo 
virgo generavit." 



CLAUDIUS TO JUSTINIAIT. 175 

Buddha's birth from the side of his mother ; and yet 
his notice of him is by no means so full and satisfactory 
as that of Clemens, written some two centuries before. 
YoT Clemens described Buddha as a man and moral 
lawgiver, and as a man raised to deity by his own su- 
preme majesty and the reverence of his followers, shortly 
indeed, but how truth fully and characteristically! when 
compared with Hieronymus, who knows him as the 
founder of the Gymnosophists, i.e., of the Hindu philo- 
sophy, which is as much as if a Hindu should see in 
Mahomet the author of the western religions. 

Again, Hieronymus gives Buddha a virgin mother. 
But a virgin mother is unknown to the Buddhist books 
of India and Ceylon, and belongs — derived perhaps 
from some Chinese or Christian source — to the bastard 
creed of the Buddhists of Tartary.^^ Under any circum- 

^6 According to tlie Nepaulese " Neither Adi Buddha nor any of 
the Pancha Buddha Dhyani...were ever conceived in mortal womb, 
nor had they father or mother, but certain persons of mortal 
wiowl(i have attained to such excellence... as to have been gifted 
with divine wisdom. ..and these were...Sakya Sinha," Hodgson, 
Buddhist Eel., p. 68. And the Thibetan books from the Sanskrit, 
among the qualities required of the mother of Buddha place this 
one: "elle n'a pas encore enfante," to which Foucaux appends 
this note : " Mais il n'est pas dit qu'elle sera vierge." Hist, de 
Bouddha, tr. de Foucaux. The Sinhalese : " Our Vanquisher was 
the son of Suddhadana and Maya," Mahawanso, Turner, p. 9, Up- 
ham, p. 25. Indeed the Virgin mother seems strange to the 
Indian mind, vide Birth of Parasu-Eama, Maurice, Ant. Ind., II, 
93, and of Chrishna, Harivansa Lect. 59, Langlois. According to 
the Mongols, " Soudadani...epou3a Maha-mai, qui, quoique vierge, 
con9ut par I'influence divine un fils le 15 du dernier mois d' ete,'* 
Klaproth, Mem. sur I'Asie, II, p. 61. Whether, however, the idea 
was borrowed from the Christians by the Tartars, or whether it is 
original among them may bo a question. For I find among the 



176 INDIAN EMBASSIES, FROM 

Stances this dogma of Tartar Buddhism^^ could scarcely 
have reached Hieronymus ; and he here writes, it may 
be presumed, on the authority of Archelaus or Epi- 
phanius and confounds through ignorance theManichaean 
with the Indian Buddha. 

With regard to the Buddha of Archelaus, Cyril and 
Epiphanius, when we remember the many points of at 
least superficial resemblance between Buddhism and 
Christianity and the proselytising spirit of both reli- 
gions, we may well wonder that so few of the early 
Christian fathers have known the name of Buddha ; and 
that of these few Archelaus and his copyists have so 
little appreciated its religious significance, that they 
speak of it merely as of a name assumed by Terebin- 
thus, and so assumed Epiphanius asserts, because it is 
the Assyrian equivalent of the Greek word Tere- 
binthus.^^ They in fact connect the Manichsean heresy 
with India,^^ not through the name of Buddha, but 



Mongols that Alankava, the ancestress of three great Tartar 
tribes, after a certain night vision, "se trouva fort surprise de 
cette apparition; mais elle le fut beaucoup plus, lorsqu'elle apper- 
9ut qu'elle etait grosse sans qu'elle eut connu aucun homme.'* 
Alankava. Diet. Orient., D'Herbelot; but see Observations, iv, 
p. 339, id. And of the great Lao Tseu, who is somewhat anterior 
to Buddah, the Chinese believe that his mother conceived him 
impressed " de la vertu vivifiantedu Ciel et de la Terre." Mailla, 
Hist, de la Chine, xiii, p. 571. 

17 Indeed I suspect that the Tartars were not at this time 
Buddhists, for of the Buddhist faith Klaproth writes, " elle n'a 
commencee a se repandre au nord de I'Hindoustan que a.d. 60; 
et beaucoup plus tard (the 7th century, id., p. 88), dans le Thibet 
et dans les autres contrees de I'Asie Centrale," u. s., p. 93. 

^* TepT]Bii^^duv...jxeTOPOiJLaa6cvTos Boi/SSa Kara rrju Aaavpiocv yKcaaaav, 
Epiph., ih. 

19 "Error quoque Indicus Manetem tenuit qui duo pugnantia 



CLAUDIUS TO JUSTINIAN. 177 

tlirongli Scythianus and his Indian travels and famili- 
arity with Indian learning. 

But if the Indian Buddha was unknown to Archelaus, 
he certainly was not unknown to Scythianus, who took 
the name, prohably because it was symbolical of his own 
mission, and of himself as destined to inaugurate a new 
era in the history of mankind; and because by it he 
connected his own system of religion, which was eclectic 
and conciliatory, with the religions of the East. But 
this notwithstanding, Manichaeism, the Gnostic perhaps 
excepted, is that scheme of Christianity with which the 
Buddhist faith has the least afi&nity. For the Mani- 
chsean was an essentially speculative, metaphysical 
creed, or rather a philosophy from and to which a reli- 
gion and morality were derived and attached, and of 
which Manes was but the author and expounder. 
Buddhism on the other hand spite of its real atheism 
and its Nirvana is a religion eminently practical, formal, 
and ritual, of which Buddha is the great central sun, 
and his example, wisdom, and precepts, the world 
wherein his followers live, move, and have their being.^^^ 

numina introduxit/' Eplarem Syrus from Assemann, thoug-li as 
Assemann very justly observes the two hostile deities are evidence 
not of an Indian but a Zendian origin. 

20 See, however, Lassen, Ind. Alterthumsb., Ill, p. 406, who 
finds traces of the influence of Buddhism in the religion of Manes. 
1st. In the two opposite principles of Manichaiisin. 2nd. In its 
account of the world's origin. 3rd. In the laws which it supposes 
determine the several existences of individual souls in their pro- 
gress towards final emancipation ; and 4th. In its final destruction 
of the world. But without denying that these dogmas may have 
been borrowed from Buddhism, it must be allowed that they may 
just as probably be the result of independent thought, applied to 

N 



178 INDIAN EMBASSIES, FROM 

These notices relating to Biidcllia and extending over 
some century and a half, I have thrown together for 
convenience sake and because they show that Eoman 
knowledge of India and Indian matters was on the 
decline. I return now to the times immediately suc- 
ceeding the fall of Palmyra. 

It would be absurd to suppose that tlie destruction of 
Palmyra however much it affected put an end to the 
Indian trade through the Persian gulf. That would 
find new channels for itself and live on so long as it 
proved remunerative to the carriers and merchants 
engaged in it. It seems in fact as we gather from a 
passage of Amimianus Marcellinus to have been trans- 
ferred to Batne. This Batne situated at no great 
distance from the Euphrates, about sixty miles north of 
Thapsacus, and a day's journey from Edessa,^^ was when 
Strabo and even Ptolemy wrote a place of so little im- 
portance that it escaped their notice ; in the reign of 
Constantius some seventy-three years after the fall of 
Palmyra Ammianus describes it as a rich commercial 

the great problems of which they are one of a very limited num- 
ber of solutions. 

21 "Ab Euphrate flumine brevi spatio disparatur." Am. Marc, 
X, 2, iii, iro\t(Tna fnv Ppaxv kui \oyov ovSevos a^iop, rjfxepas Se 65(f Edcaarjs 
Siexoy- Procopius de Bel. Persico, II, 12, 209. Asseman (I, 2S3) in 
the opening chapters to his life of S. Jacob Sarugensis has collected 
agooddeal of information about Batne, yet strange to say, he makes 
no mention of Ammianus Marcellanus' notice of it, far the most 
important of all that have come down to us, and confounds with 
it a Batne in Chalcis, which Julian so pleasingly describes in a 
letter zo Libanius, Epistola xxvii. Of tJie Batne, for he visited it 
also, he could have had no such pleasing an impression. Am. 
Mar. xxiii, II. 



CLAUDIUS TO JUSTINIAN. 179 

city, and as celebrated for its great fair which took 
place in the early part of September and was frequented 
by merchants and all sorts of people from every part of 
the world, who crowded thither to trade for the products 
and wares of India and the Seres. How many years 
after the ruin of Palmyra passed away before Batne 
reached this height of prosperity we have no means of 
ascertaining; btit however rapid its growth, its decay 
must have been almost as rapid, for in less than two 
centuries its wealth and glory were already forgotten 
and Procopius contemptuously mentions it as a small 
and insignificant town,^^ 

We now turn to Eufinus, born A.D. 330, died a.d. 
410, and his short notice of the Indian travels of Metro- 
dorus and Meropius.^^ He speaks of them as philoso- 
phers, and of their having gone to India for the purpose 
of seeing its towns and country, and the world gene- 
rally.2* He tells besides of Meropius, that he was a 
Tyrian and travelled, stirred by the example of Metro- 
dorus; that he took with him ^desius and Frumen- 

22 Zosimus speaking too of Julian's visit, calls it an insignificant 
town, TToKixviov ri. Hist. 1. iii, c. 12. From Asseman, u. s., it 
would seem as if Batne rose or fell according as Persians and 
Romans were at peace or at war with each other. He shows how 
it flourished under St. James of Sarug, and there was then peace 
between Chosroes and the Romans. 

23 Hist. Eccles,, L. I, c. ix. 

24 " Inspiciendorum locorum et orbis perscrutandi gratis ulteri- 
orem dicitur Indiam penetrasse." ih. Schrockh however sends 
Meropius to Ethiopia only ( Kirschengeschichte, vi, 24, as also 
Socrates, a.d. 439, Hist. Eccles., I, xv, and Sozomen, a.d. 446, II, 
xxiii), though both evidently writing on the authority of Rufinua. 
Their India interior is from the context clearly Ethiopian. 



180 INDIAN EMBASSIES, FROM 

tins, lads, "piierulos," liis relations and pupils, and that 
after he had examined and observed every thing in 
India that was noteworthy,^^ he and his wards took 
ship to return home. He goes on to say, that on the 
way their w^ater and provisions failed them, and that 
they made for an Ethiopian port ; and that the inhabi- 
tants happening to be at variance with Eome, seized 
the ship and massacred all the crew and passengers 
save Frumentius and ^desius, whom for their youth's 
sake they spared, and presented to the king. He adds, 
that in the course of time the king died, and that his 
widowed queen entrusted his one infant son and suc- 
cessor, together with the government, to the care of 
Frumentius, who in fact ruled the country till the king 
came of age, when he gave up his trust and authority 
together, and asked, and with difficulty got, permission 
to return to his native land. That he then came to 
Alexandria, and there visited Athanasius, not long be- 
fore consecrated its bishop, a.d. 336, and that to him he 
spoke of the spread of Christianity in Ethiopia, and his 
labours in its cause ; and was by him induced to accept 
the see of Auxume, the first Ethiopian bishopric. 

With the visits of these Eoman travellers we may 
connect an Indian embassy ,2^ which reached Constan- 
tinople in the last year of Constantine's life, a.d. 336-7, 

25 « igitur pervisis et in notitiam captis his quibus animus 
pascebatur." — ih. 

26 iv^aov rwp irpos aviaxovra r]\iov rrpea fie is... So/pa KO(xt^ovTes..,a Se 
irpoff'qyov Tw fiaariXd, ttjv €ts ( avrctiv) coK^avov Sr]\ovvTes avrov KparrjaiV 
KOiojs ul rwv Ii/Sajj/ X'^P**^ Kadrjyffioves eiKovcov ypacpais, avdpiauTCct/ r' avrov 
avaQr]fxaai Tinupres, avTOKparupa Kai fiaaiXea yvwpt^eiv ufxoKoyuvv. — 
Eusebius, de Vita Constant., L. iv, c. 50. 



CLAUDIUS TO JUSTINIAN. 181 

and broiiglit with it strange animals, and all sorts of 
brilliant and precious stones. These the ambassadors 
presented to Constantine, in token that his sovereignty- 
extended to their ocean. They told him too of pictures 
and statues dedicated to him by the Princes of India 
who thus acknowledged him as their autocrat and 
king. 

I have no doubt whatever that its many and often 
successful wars with Persia, and its large and continued 
demand for the products of the East had magnified 
throughout India the wealth and power of the Eoman 
Empire; and I understand how the appearance of 
Eomans at their courts might probably induce the 
Hindu kings to express, by an embassy, their respect 
and friendly feelings for the Eoman Emperor; but I 
cannot easily believe that any independent princes 
should, of their ow^n motion and with no prospect of 
gain, thus hurry to bow themselves before Eoman 
supremacy. In the lowly homage attributed to them, 
I trace the flattery of court interpreters and court news- 
men, who would thus raise Constantine to a level ^vitli 
Augustus, as his court-poets had before raised Augustus 
to a level with Alexander. 

To return to the travellers, Ammianus Marcellinus^^ 
(and he refers to some Book of his History now lost, 
where the matter was treated at length), in defending' 
Julian against those who charged him with having 
instigated the Persian war, asserts that that war was 

^ XXV, iv. " Sciaiit...non Julianum sed Constantium ardores 
Parthicos succendisse cum Metrodori mendaciis avidius acquiescit, 
ut dudum retulimus plane.'* 



182 INDIAN EMBASSIES, FROM 

brought on by Constantius, who too rashly gave credit 
to the falsehoods of Metrodorus. ISTow this Metrodorus, 
Cedrenus, of the eleventh century, has identified with 
the Metrodorus of Eufinus. He tells us of him, that he 
was Persian-born and pretended to philosophy ; that he 
travelled to India and the Brahmans, and made for and 
introduced among them water-mills and baths ; and that 
by his strictly ascetic life, he won their confidence and 
respect, and was admitted into the very penetralia of 
their temples, whence he stole pearls and other precious 
stones. These jewels, together with others entrusted to 
him by the Hindu king as presents for the Eoman 
Emperor, he offered to Constantine as gifts from himself, 
and at the same time gave him to understand that the 
Persians had seized and appropriated a parcel of other 
jewels which he had sent overland. On this, Constan- 
tine wrote curtly to the Persian king, and receiving no 
answer, put an end to the peace between them.^^ 

Valesius is of opinion that Cedrenus has here given 
us those falsehoods of Metrodorus which produced the 
Persian war, and the falsehoods to which Marcellinus 
referred. But I w^ould observe : — 



28 T^ fiai gT-ft 7-fjj jSao'iAewy rov K(avaravTivov...MriTpo^wpos ris ITepco- 
yevTjs Trpoairon](Taii€uos (piKo(To<peiv airrjXdev tv Iv8iav kui rovs fipaxixavas, 
Kai XRVf^f'^h^vos eyKpareia. iroWr] yeyoveu avrois ae^aaros. eipya^ero 56 
vdpojJLvAovs Kai hovrpa, /J.^Xf"' '''ore fin] yvupi^opava -nap avTois. ovtos ev 
Tois advTois us €v<Te&ris eicriuv KiOovs jifxiovs ..ifcpei\€To. cAo^e Se kui itapa 
rov j8o<n\6ws ruv Ivdoov waie tip PacriXei Sapa KOniaai. . .Kai. . .SedooKe ravra 
&s iSia Tcp fiaaihti. Qav/xa^ovTi Se oi/Ty ecprj Kai aWa Sia yrjs ir poire fi^pai, 
aW* ttcpaipedrjuai vno Uepacov. ypa<pei ovv airoTopLUS Kuvaravrivos, irpos 
'2airupr]v anoaraArjvai avra Kai Ss^a/jievos ovk avTaire<TTei\€' hia rovro e\vQr] 
7] iip'nvq.—Cedien.i Synop., Hist., pp. 518-7, I, Bonn ed. 



CLAUDIUS TO JUSTINIAN. 183 

1st. That Cedrenus' Metrodorus played not upon 
Constantius, but upon Constantine. 

2ad. That while Cedrenus accounts for the Persian 
war w^hich broke out A.D. 336-7, Marcellinus alludes to 
that begun a.d. 357 ; that during wdiicli Constantius 
died. For had he been speaking of the first war, as his 
object was to exculpate Julian from having instigated 
it, instead of looking about for Metrodorus and his lies, 
he would merely have pointed to the date of Julian's 
birth, A.D. 331,2^ and the accusation would of itself have 
fallen to the ground. The Metrodorus of Cedrenus 
cannot be the Metrodorus of Marcellinus. 

But how about the Metrodorus of Marcellinus and 
Eufinus ? If we turn to Eufinus' notice of Frumentius, 
we find that he was consecrated Bishop^^ of Ethiopia 
about A.D. 326. If we weigh well the adventures of his 
life from the day he left Tyre, to that in which he 
landed in Alexandria, we cannot surely crowd them into 
a less space than twenty-five years. He will then have 
set out for India about a.d. 302, and Metrodorus, who 
preceded him, about A-D. 300. But Metrodorus, already 
known as a philosopher, must have been at the very 
least twenty-five years old, and above eighty- three 
w^hen (a.d. 357) with gratuitous and purposeless false- 
hoods he stirred up war between Persia and the Eoman 
Empire. Malice, no doubt, belongs to every age ; but 
this kind of malice at such an age is not probable — more 

^ V. Smith's Greek and Eom. Biographical Diet., Julianus. 

30 According to Theophanes, ninth century, Meropius in the 
time of Constantine was the first Apostle of the Ethiopians, Fru- 
mentius their first Bishop.— Chronog., p. 35, Byz. Hist., Bonn ed. 



184 INDIAN EMBASSIES, FEOM 

probable is it that the Metrodorus of Euiinus is other 
than the Metrodorus of Marcelliuus. 

But how if Cedrenus' and Kufinus' Metrodorus were 
one and the same ? Cedrenus, I have little doubt, 
thought to identify them. And as he brings his hero 
to Byzantium, and before Constantine, a.d. 327, his 
Metrodorus and Eufinus' not only bear the same name, 
but are cotemporaries, and had both visited India ; but 
here all resemblance ends. The Metrodorus of Eufinus 
was a philosopher and not unknown ; Cedrenus', with 
a Greek name, was a Persian and a charlatan. How, 
besides, if they were identical, account for the silence of 
Eufinus as to the adventures of a man who had become 
famous or infamous, and who must have been known to 
his informant, ^Edesius, at least by report ? A gossiping 
historian, (I hasten to admit that his gossip is strictly 
ecclesiastic and religious), I do not believe that Eufinus, 
had he known it, would willingly have let die this 
story of a Persian and a philosopher ; a heathen almost 
certainly, and if a Christian probably a heretic, from 
which so pleasing a moral might have been drawn. No, 
the Metrodorus of Cedrenus stands by himself, his own 
clumsy creation probably. 

But, again, as to Eufinus himself. His chronology is 
always loose and vague enough at the best, but in this 
his notice of Frumentius, as gathered from the lips of 
^desius, Prumentius' friend and companion, one might 
expect some approach to accuracy. Now, reasoning on 
his own data, I have approximately fixed on the year 
A.D. 302, confirmed by Tillemont^^ as the year in which 

3' Hist, des Empereurs, notes sur Constantin, n. Ixiii. 



CLAUDIUS TO JUSTINIAN. 185 

Meropius, with his wards, set out for India. But 
Valesius^^ and Xeander,^^ while accepting Eufinus' date 
for the ordination of Frumentius, refer to a letter of the 
Emperor Constantius to Aizana and Sazana, kings of 
Auxume, which is quoted at length by Athanasius in his 
Apologia, and from which it would seem that Frumentius 
was ordained or consecrated to Auxume,^ while Atha- 
nasius was being judged and condemned for heresy at 
Antioch, a.d. 355-6. Hence a difficulty w^iich Baronius 
solves, cutting the Gordian knot with a vengeance, by 
supposing two Frumentius's, the one a Bishop of 
Ethiopia, the other of Auxume,^^ but which is in general 
slurred over by the historian, who satisfies himself with 
just mentioning this discrepancy of dates and then 
quietly assuming that Eufinus' is the correct one. But 
how stands the case ? On the one side, we have an 
official letter from a Eoman emperor to the two kings of 
Auxume, implying the recent ordination of their bishop, 
and we have that letter quoted, and so far silently ac- 
quiesced in, by the ordaining bishop. On the other 

^ y. Valesii Hist. Eccl., Socratis, p. 9. 

33 Kirchengescliichte, II, p. 256. 

8* Constantii Tyrannis Auxura., Epist. in tlie Apologia Athanasii 
ad Constantium. Constantius after insisting on the necessity for 
a unity of faith advises the kings to send Frumentius back to 
Alexandria, there to submit his life and doctrine to the Ven. 
Bishop George and the other Egyptian bishops, lare yap ^rjirou 
Kai fitfxvr](Tde.,.6Ti rov ^pu/xevriov rovrov eis ravTrfv rrjv ra^iv rov fiiou 
Kari(jTr)(Tiv Adavaaios fxvpiois evoxos wv kukois, us ovStv rotv . . .iyKX-q^iaruv 
...SiKaius icx^v iwiKvaaaOai, axniKa Tr}S fx€v KadeSpas €Kir€irTa>K6. 

85 Theophanis Chronog., p. 346, speaks of the Auxumites E|ou- 
Hiroov as Jews and converted to Christianity in Justinian's time, 
in consequence of a vow made by their King Adad, to become 
Christian should he conquer Damiau the Homerite king. 



186 INDIAN EMBASSIES, FROM 

side, we have Eufiniis' reminiscences, wliicli are but the 
reflection of what -^desius himself remembered and 
told.26 

What credit then is due to ^desius ? Schrockh 
tells of Eufinus,^'' that he was born in Concordia, almost 
on the Adriatic, about a.d. 330 ; that he was baptised 
in 371 ; that shortly afterwards at Alexandria he made 
the acquaintance of a noble Eoman lady, Melania,^ 
whom in a.d. 378 he accompanied to Jerusalem, and 
then first visited Palestine. At or about this time he 
must have known ^desius, priest at Tyre. But 
^desius, if "puerulus" in 302,^^ was in 378 much past 
eighty, though Eufinus makes no allusion to his age, 
and his memory, especially as regards dates, could not 
have been very bright and clear. Between his authority 
then and that of a royal letter who could hesitate, would 
also hesitate between Fox's Book of Martyrs and an Act 
of Parliament. 

But, if we accept the letter, we must set aside 

^^ Quae nos ita gesta, non opinione vulgi sed ipso ^desio Tyri 
presbytero postmodum facto, qui Frumentii comes prius fuerat, 
referente cognovimus, x, ix, c. 

3~ Kirchengesch. x, pp. 12-14; the Art. Eufinus, in Smith's 
G. and R. Biographical Diet., v. Eufinus — might be a translation 
of Schrockh's account. 

38 In his Lausiaca Hist, cxix, Palladius has given a life of Mela- 
nia, and how the east and west, north and south were not un- 
knowing of her charities. His next chapter is directed to another 
Melania, a niece of the first, which I recommend to those who 
would wish to know something of the wealth and possessions of a 
Eoman lady. 

39 Socrates, unde edoctus nescio, calls the children vai^apia... 
'E\\-nvtKr)5 ovK ufioipa ha\eKTrjs, more than ten years of age probably. 
Hist. Eccl., ut sup. 



CLAUDIUS TO JUSTINIAN. 187 

CeJrenus* narrative as apocryphal, and Eufinus' dates 
as incorrect ; and as Atlianasius was condemned by the 
Arian Council of Aries, A.D. 353, and finally deposed by 
that of Milan, a.d. 355 f^ but seems to have ordained 
and consecrated Frumentius while yet only under the 
imputation of heresy ; I conclude that he ordained and 
consecrated Frumentius between the years 352 and 354 
A.D. ; and allowing, as we have done, twenty-five years 
for the events of his life, he will have set out for India 
under the guardianship of Meropius about a.d. 327-8, 
but whether immediately after, or as Valesius supposes 
on the return of, Metrodorus, we have no means of 
ascertaining. 

But if we put aside Eufinus' date, what about his 
facts ? Both from his narrative and the royal letter, we 
gather that at Auxume there were many Christians, and 
that the Government also was Christian. But here all 
agreement ends. The letter is addressed to two kings, 
the joint sovereigns of Auxume ; the narrative knows of 
but one king, the ward from his childhood of Frumen- 
tius, and shows a state of things scarcely compatible 
with a double sovereignty ; unless indeed we assume 
that this double sovereignty was the result of a revolu- 
tion which broke out in the short interval between 
Frumentius' departure from, and his return to, Auxume. 
But if we see no reason to assume anything of the kind, 
we must again choose between the royal letter and the 
senile reminiscences of ^desius ; and for the royal letter 
I avow a weakness. 

^ Athanasias, Smith's Bio graphical Diet. 



188 INDIAN EMBASSIES, FROM 

During the reign of Constantius we also hear of 
Theophilus the Indian. Philostorgius relates of hiin,*^ 
that he was born at Dibons, an island of the Indians, 
that when very young he was sent by his people as 
a hostage to Constantino, and that, educated in a 
monastery, he was sent at the head of a mission to the 
Homerites. Dibous, or rather the Dibenoi, Valesius,^^ 
and Shrockh after him, have identified with the Diu of 
the embassy to Julian, and Dibous with Divu, Diu, an 
island lying off the Indus. But what relation could 
possibly have existed between the Divi and Constantino, 
which should have obliged them to send hostages to Eome ? 
I find that Theophilus is often called the Blemmyan, 
and his mission points to an Arab origin, and I incline to 
think that Dibous*^ is some Arab island or promontory 
connected with the Debai or Dedebai of Agatharcides. 

*^ TttyTTjs 5e T77S irpfd^eias (to the Homerites) cv rois irpoorois tjv kui 
&eo(l>L\o5 6 IvSos, 6s naXai n^v Kwv(TTauTivov...€Ti Tr)v r}\iKiau Vfuraros, 
Kad^ 6fjL7]pLav irapa rwv Ai^rjfoop KaKovpavwv ct$ Voufxaiovs ecnaXT]. Aj/SouS 
y idriv avrois rj uTjaos x^P°'-^ *''*"' I»'5w*' Se KOi oinoi <t)€pov(Ti ro €Tru>vviiiov 
...Tov fievToi @eo<pi\ov...Tov fjLovavKiov aueKeadai fiiou. Ecc. Hist, 
111,4 

^ Ad locum cita. annotatio. 

*3 V, ih., § 5. After having preached much and founded churches 
among the Homeritse, and extended his labours even to the 
mouth of the Persian Gulf, €iri rrjv A</3o5 vri(Tov...ar€ir\ivae KUKfidfu 
€is rrfv a\\7}v a<piKeTo 1v5ik7]v, and there corrected much that was 
wrong. Then in the next chapter, 6, fK 5t TavTTjs ttjs fieya\ris 
Apa$ias CIS tovs Av^ovfiiras KaKovfifPous airaipn AiOionas, He tells how 
they live at the entrance of the Eed Sea, and beyond them the 
Suroi, in whose land grow xylecassia, cassia, and cinnamon, trpos 
fieu 5e rovTovs 6 &eo<pi\os ovk a<piKero. But after he had done in 
Auxume all he had to do he returned to Rome. Does not all this 
show mere travel in Arabia, up to the Persian Gulf, and the Eed 
Sea? See also Agatharcides de Mare Eryth., § 95. 



CLAUDIUS TO JUSTINIAN. 189 

The next incidental notice of India belonging to these 
times is to be found in Damascius' Life of Isidorus as 
preserved by Photins.** It is an account of some 
Brahmans who visited Alexandria and lodged in the 
house of Severus, Consul a.d. 470. They lived, we are 
told, very reputably after the manner of their people. 
They frequented neither the public baths nor any of the 
city sights, but kept within doors as much as they could. 
They ate palms and rice and drank water. They were 
not mountain Brahmans nor yet common Indian folk, 
but something between both, just agents for the Brah- 
mans in the city and for the city with the Brahmans. 
What they reported of the Brahmans quite tallied with 
all one reads about them : as that by their prayers they 
can bring down rain and avert famine and pestilence 
and other incurable ills.*^ They told also of the one- 
footed men, and the great seven-headed serpent, and 
other strange marvels. 

I suspect that the prophetic and supernatural powers 
of the Brahmans were greater on the shores of the 
Mediterranean than on the banks of the Ganges. The 
one-footed men were a favourite Hindu myth and known 
in Europe from the days of Ctesias. The seven-headed 
serpent may be referred either to that king of the 
Xagas who with his seven folds covered the body of 

** Vide Photii Bib., ed. Schotti, p. 1042 : 7}kov Se trpos rov 'S.e^vpov 
Kai Bpaxfiavai Kara rrtv A\6|oi/5p€to»', Kai eSelaro a*po.s oiKicf tSicf, etc. 
This visit must have taken place therefore before Severus took up 
his residence in Eome, and before his consulship. 

^^ So Onesicritus : fc^r; 8' avTovi nai rwu irfpi <pv(Tiv -jroWa e^eraaai 
Kai TTpaarjfjLaaiwv of.i^pu)v, avxfJi-ov, vuawv, Strabo, xv, I, 65, and Die 
Crysostom, Oratio xlix. 



190 INDIAN EMBASSIES, FEOM 

Buddha and shielded him with his crests, or to the 
seven-headed serpent on which Vishnu reposes.*^ But 
whatever the tales of these men the question arises, why 
came they to Alexandria? They were not merchants, 
or they would have been foimd in its markets ; and they 
travelled neither for their own instruction nor for that 
of others, or they would have mixed with the world and 
not avoided the haunts of men. Wliatever might have 
been their object, they so lived that they could learn 
nothing, teach nothing. 

Of direct notices of India subsequent to the fall of 
Palmyra I find a short one in a " Description of the 
Whole World," extant only in Latin translations, but 
originally written in Greek about a.d. 350 and seemingly 
by some eclectic in religion. In the farthest east it 
places the Eden of Moses and the sources of that great 
river, which dividing itself into four branches is sever- 
ally known as the Geon, Phison, Tigris, and Euphrates. 
Here dwell — and we are referred to the authority of 
some unnamed historian^^ — the Carmani, a good and 
pious people, who know neither moral nor physical ill. 
They all live to the age of one hundred and twenty, and 
no father ever sees his children die.^^ They drink wild 

*^ Hist, du Bouddha, Foucaux trans., p. 354, And compare 
Vishnu Purana, by Wilson, p. 205, where Ananta is described 
with a thousand heads, with the plate in Moor's Pantheon repre- 
senting Vishnu on the seven-headed "Ananta contemplating the 
creation, with Brahma on a lotos springing from his navel to per- 
form it/' plate 7. 

*' " Et hsec quidem de prsedictis gentibus historicus ait," Juni- 
oris Philosophi Descriptio totius Orbis, § 21, p. 516, II, Geog. 
Grseci Minores. 

48 Their great age the Carmani share with others : " Cyrnos 



CLAUDIUS TO JUSTINIAN. 191 

honey and pepper, and they eat a bread and use a fire 
wliich daily come down from heaven ; and the fire is so 
hot tliat it would burn them up, did they not run and 
hide themselves in the river until it returned to its own 
place. They wear garments of a stuff that scarcely ever 
soils, and then recovers all its freshness on being passed 
through fire. Next them to the west are the Brahmans. 
Like the Carmani, they are subject to no king, and live 
happily sharing something of their neighbours' felicity. 
Their food is fruits, pepper, and honey. Then come five 
other nations, and we have reached now the greater 
India, whence comes silk (or wheat) with all other 
necessaries, and the Indians live happily and in a 
country large and fertile. Next to India Major is a 
land which is rich in everything; its inhabitants are 
skilled in war and the arts, and aid the people of India 
Minor in their wars with the Persians. Bordering on 
this land is India Minor, subject to India Major ; it has 
numberless herds of elephants wliich are exported to 
Persia. 

Though our author parades the authorities he has 
consulted, from Moses and Berosus to Thucydides and 
Josephus, his work, which is rather a popular description 
of the world than a scientific geography, is interesting 
only when it treats of those countries and places, as 

Indorum genus Isigonus annis 140 vivere. Item Ethiopas Macro- 
bios et Seras existimat," etc., etc. Plin., Hist. Nat., vii, 2 ; Strabo, 
XV, 15. But their other blessings, that they die each in his turn and 
know no ills, are their own; but hinted at as characteristic also of 
the happy age of the Mahabharata : " Tandis que la caste des 
Ksyatryas s'abonnait h. la vertu...personne ne mourait enfant." — 
I, 264, Fouche's Tr. 



192 INDIAN EMBASSIES, FEOM 

Syria and its cities, with which he was himself ac- 
quainted. Of the far East his account is especially 
meagre and would be worthless, but that it serves to 
show how necessary is commercial intercourse to keep 
alive our knowledge of other and distant countries ; and 
how very soon after that intercourse had ceased India 
again faded away into the land of myth and fable. 

Some few years later (a.d. 360-70) Avienus pub- 
lished a Latin hexametrical version of Dionysius Peri- 
egetes' Geographical Poem of the AVorld. And though 
he nowhere shows any extraordinary regard for his text 
and never stops at any alteration of it to suit his own 
taste or the views of his age, I observe that he scrupul- 
ously follows it in everything relating to India. 

I will but mention Dracontius (died A.D. 450) and 

Avitus (a.d. 490), who the one in his Carmen de Deo, 

speaks of India in connexion with spices — 

" India tunc primum generans pigmenta per herbas 
Eduxit sub sole novo.** — i, 176. 

and with precious stones and ivory — 

" India cum gemmis et eburnea monstra minatur.*' — 307. 

while the other, in his Poem de Mosai. Hist. Gestis, 
glorifies the Indians because they receive the first rays 
of the sun,*^ and describes them as black, and with their 
hair bound back off the forehead f^ and who both — like 

49 . . . . " Ubi solis abortu 

Vicinos nascens aurora repercutit Indos," 196, 1. 
borrowed probably from Avienus " pi-imam coquit banc radiis sol,*' 
1308, and Dionysius Periegetes, 1110. 

w " Cffisaries incompta riget quse crine supino 

Stringitur lit refugo careat frons nuda capiUo.** 



CLAUDIUS TO JUSTINIAN. 193 

the author of the Description of the Whole World 
quoted above — place India to the west of Eden, whence 
the rivers bring down all sorts of precious stones to us 
common mortals. ^^ They add nothing to our knowledge 
of India, and merely illustrate the common-place axiom, 
that in an intellectually inferior age fables and myths 
are preferred to truth, and the most wonderful tales to 
the best ascertained facts. 

To this age, the fifth century, also probably belongs 
Hierocles. Of his work, Philistores, but a very few 
fragments have been preserved ; and of these, two relate 
to India and imply that he had himself visited India 
and in India travelled. The first from Stephanos of 
Byzantium, under Brachmanes, is to this effect ; — " After 
this I thought it worth my while to go and visit the 
Brahman caste.^^ The men are philosophers dear to 
the gods, and especially devoted to the sun. They ab- 
stain from all flesh meats and live out in the open air, 
and honour truth. Their dress is made of the soft and 
skin-like {BepfiaTcoBr}) fibres of stones, which they weave 
into a stuff that no fire burns or water cleanses. When 

^ " Est locus in terrd diffundens quatuor amnes," Dracont. 178. 
The Ganges, one of these, brings down all sorts of precious stones. 
— So Eudoxus presents to Euergetes from India aromatics and 
precious stones : uv tovs fiev Karaifxpovaiv ot vorafioi fiera tuv \prj<tfuv. 
Strabo II, III, p. 81. 

** Hie fons perspicuo resplendens gurgite surgit, 

Eductum leni fontis de vertice flumen 
Quatuor in largos confestim scinditur amnes." — Avitus, I. 
52 Edvos, but having before us the opinions of his predecessors 
about the Brahmans I suspect we should translate " nation," i.e. 
if he be the Hierocles I suppose. 





194 INDIAN EMBASSIES, FROM 

their clothes get soiled or dirty, they are thrown into a 
blazing fire, and come out quite white and bright." The 
second from the Chiliads of Tzetzes (VII Hist., 144 to 
716) : "Then," he says, "I came to a country very dry 
and burnt up by the sun. And all about this desert I 
saw men naked and houseless, and of these some shaded 
their faces with their ears and the rest of their bodies 
with their feet raised in the air. Of these men Strabo 
has a notice, as also of the no-heads and ten-heads and 
four-hands-and-feet men, but none of them did I ever 
see, quoth Hierocles." 

Hierocles' account of the Brahmans is so modest, and 
his explanation of the one-footed men of Strabo so 
simple, that his narrative might easily be accepted as 
the genuine production of one who had visited India ; 
but first : for the asbestos stuff in which his Brahmans 
are clothed and which we have no reason to believe 
they ever wore, but which as it was an Indian manu- 
facture^^ and rare and valuable he perhaps substituted 
for the wonderful earth- wooP* Philostratus imagined for 

53 « Inventum jam est quod ignibns non absumeretur .... ar- 
dentesque in focis conviviorum ex eo vidimus mappas, sordibus 
exustis, splendescentes igni niagis quam possent aquis . . . Nascitur 
in desertis adustisque sole Indise, ubi non cadunt imbres, inter diras 
serpentes; assuescitque vivere ardendo, rarum inventu, difficile 
textu propter brevitatem. Eufus color." Pliny, xix, 4. Strabo, 
however, speaks of it as a product of Euboea, and in bis time also 
used for napkins : ev Se rrj Kapvarcp /coi ^ \i6os ^verai rj ^aivofiePTj kui 
v<paivofXivr\ aare ra iKp-q xetpo/ia/crpo yiviadai, ^virwdevra 5' eis <pXoya 
^aWeaQai Kai airoKaOaipeadai, x, I. B., p. 383. 

5* 'H 8e v\t] TTjy €o6t)tos, epiov avrocpves, rj 777 <f>vei, XevKov /xev ojairep 
TO Uaix<pv\(iou, ixaXaKwnpov Se tikt^i, t] Se TnixeArj ola eXaiov aTr' avroj 
AetjSeTat. Tou0' lepav eaOrjra iroiovvrai, kui et rts erepos irapa rovs li'dovs 
TovTovs ar'aantfi-q avTo, ov (Xidurai t) yi} rov ipiov. Pbilost., Apoll. Yita, 
III, XV, p. 54. 



CLAUDIUS TO JUSTINIAN. 195 

them ; and secondly : for the monsters he so carelessly 
attributes to Strabo — and of which so far as I know 
Strabo is innocent — had Hierocles but told of them as 
of something of which he had heard, these ten-headed 
and four-hand-and-footed men would have been identi- 
fied with the statues of Ravana and Ardhavan/^ and 
adduced as an evidence of a visit to India. As it is, we 
know him as an untrustworthy writer, and we have only 
his own word for it that he was ever there. 

We have next an account of India^^ written at the 
close of the fourth or beginning of the fifth century and 
drawn up apparently at the request either of Palladius, 
or of Lausius to whom Palladius inscribed his Historia 
Lausiaca. Its writer states that he went to India with 
Moses, Bishop of Adule ; but found the heat such, the 
coldest water being set boiling in a few minutes,^^ that 

^ Vide plates 54 and 24, Moor's Hindoo Pantheon. And as 
belonging to the popular legends we hear in the Mahabharata of 
men : " a trois yeux, plusieurs k un seul oeil...les monopedes," etc., 
II, 54, Fouche's Tr. 

^ Of this tract there are two versions, a Greek addressed to 
some eminent personage not named, and a Latin attributed to 
Ambrosius and addressed to Palladius. In the Greek version the 
author himself visits India, to aKpcorrjpia /xovov, p. 2 ; in the Latin: 
it is his brother, Musseus Dolenorum Episcopus, who traverses 
Serica, now on this side the Ganges, p. 58, where are the trees 
that give out not leaves but very fine wool, and where he sees the 
stone columns raised to Alexander ; and who at length reaches 
Ariana, which he finds burnt up by the heat, and so hot that 
water is seen boiling in the vessels that hold it, and who then 
gives up his journey and returns to Europe. In this first part I 
have preferred the Greek, but afterwards I oftener follow the Latin 
version as the more full and intelligible. — Palladius, ed. Bissseus. 

^' Ctesias of the Indian sea : ro 5e avw avrr)5.,.6€piiov tivai wo-re fxri 



196 INDIAN EMBASSIES, FROM 

he very quickly returned. He had little to say of his 
own knowledge ; but in the course of his travels he had 
fallen in with, and heard a good deal about India from, 
a scholar of the Thebaid, a lawyer, who disgusted with 
his profession had thrown it up and set out to see the 
world and more especially the land of the Brahmans. 
This man recounted, that in the company of a priest he 
took ship in the Eed Sea for the Bay of Adule. Here he 
landed and went to visit the city and pushed on inland 
as far as Auxume,^^ where he met with some Indian, 
i.e. Arab, merchants about to proceed for India : he 

iX'^vv ^rjvai. Photius Bib., p. 144. Strabo, of the heat in India 
says, lizards crossing the road are burnt up, and water quickly 
warms, p. 730. This however may have been an extravagant 
mode of speech merely, for Sidonius, almost a cotemporai-y of 
Palladius, when urging bis friend Donatius to leave the city, says, 
"jam non solum calet unda sed coquitur." Epist. II, 2. 

^8 I here follow neither the Greek nor Latin version. The 
Greek : diairXevaas ncra Trpco-jSurepou touttjk OaXacaav KareAa/Se irpuTov 
A5ov\iv fira rr]v Av^ov/j.7]v ev rj t]v fia<Ti\iaKos twv IvZuv, vii, Pseudo- 
Callisthenes, Miiller, p. 102, and afterwards Atto ttjs Au|oi;^irjs ivpwv 
Tivas vhoiapKf Sta^aivovras Ivbovs e/xxopias X«/'**'> freipaQrjv evSuTcpov 
aireKesiv, viii, p. 103. The Latin : " In rubrio mari navem con- 
scendens navigavit primo sinum Adulicum et Adulitarum oppidum 
vidit, mox Aromata promontorium et Troglodytarum emporium 
penetravit; hinc et Auxumitarum loca attigit, unde solvens... 
Muzirim pervenit, ih., 103. The Greek version is evidently de- 
fective, for it never brings our scholar to India at all, while the 
Latin traces out an itinerary confused and improbable. For after 
leaving Adule, our traveller makes for Aromata, the most eastern 
point of Africa, and the emporium of the Troglodytes ; — but " Adu- 
liton... maximum hie emporium Troglodytarum etiam Ethiopum ; " 
(Plin., iv, 34) — or suppose it some port in the Adulitic Bay, still 
he is always retracing his steps till he comes to Auxume, an 
inland town {^lea-TTjKcvat rrjv A5ov\iv ttjs Av^ovfiecos irevreKaideKa 
Tinepwu 65o$. Nonnosus, p. 480, Hist. Bizant.), whence he sets 
sail for India. 



CLAUDIUS TO JUSTINIAN. 197 

joined tliem, and together they crossed the Ocean. After 
several days' voyage they reached Mnziris, the chief 
port on this side the Ganges and the residence of a 
petty Indian rajah. At Muziris our traveller stayed 
some time, and occupied himself in studying the soil 
and climate of the place and the customs and manners 
of its inhabitants. He also made inquiries about Ceylon 
and the best mode of getting there ; but did not care to 
undertake the voyage when he heard of the dangers of 
the Sinhalese Channel, of the thousand isles, the 
Maniolai, which impede its navigation, and the load- 
stone rocks^^ which bring disaster and wreck on all 
iron-bound ships. They told him, however, of this 
island, of its happy climate^^ and its long-lived inhabit- 
ants, of its four satrapies and its great king, king of all 
the Indias,^^ of whom the petty sovereigns of the coast 
were but the governors. He knew too of its great 
trade, of its markets thronged with merchants from 

59 Ptolemy knows of the Maniolai and the loadstone rocks, but 
limits their number to ten, and throws them forward some degrees 
east of Ceylon, vii, p. 221 ; and before Ceylon places a group 
of 1378 small islands, vii, 4, p. 213. And Masoudi, who had tra- 
versed this sea, says that ships sailing on it were not fastened 
with iron nails, its waters so wasted them, p. 374. 

^ So Fa-hian : " Ce pays est tempere, on n'y connait pas la 
difference de I'hiver et de I'ete. Les herbes et les arbres sont 
toujours verdoyants. L*ensemencement des champs est suivant la 
volonte des gens." Tr. de Remusat, c. xxxviii., p. 332. 

<5^ Eu ravrri Se r-p vrjarcp Kai 6 /xfyas fiaaiKfvs Karoixfi twv Iv^cdv, <^ 
iro»'T€S 01 ^aaiXiKoi tijs x^P**' fKfiurjS vvoKfivrai ws carpanai, de Bra- 
manibus, p. 3. " Huic quatuor moderantur ... satrapes, inter 
quos unus est maximus cui...C8eteri obediunt." — Latin version. 
These satrapies would be those of Jafna, Malaya, Kohuna, with 
that of Anarajapura as the. chief. 



198 INDIAN EMBASSIES, FROM 

Ethiopia, Persia, and Auxume (Latin version only) ; of 
its five great navigable rivers,^^ and perpetual fruit- 
bearing trees, palms, cocoa, and snialler aromatic nuts. 
And he had heard how its sheep were covered not with 
wool but hair, gave much milk, and had broad tails ; 
and how their skins were prettily worked up into stuffs, 
the only clothing of the people, who would on feast-days 
eat both mutton and goat's flesh, though their usual food 
was milk, rice, and fruit. 

And the scholar further said: "I tried to penetrate 
into the interior of their country, and got as far as the 
Besadse, a people with large heads and long untrimmed 
hair, dwarfish and feeble but active and good climbers, 
who occupy themselves with gathering the pepper 
from the low and stunted trees on which it grows. 
They seized on me ; and their king, the consumption of 
whose palace was one measure of corn a year (the year 
in the Latin version only), whence got I know not, gave 
me as slave to a baker. With him I stayed six years, 
and in this time learned their language and a good deal 
about the neighbouring nations. At length the great 
king of Ceylon^ heard of me, and out of respect for the 

62 Ptolemy likewise gives five rivers to Ceylon, ut sup. the 
Soana, Ayanos, Baraeos, Ganges, and Phasis ; and after Mm Mar- 
cianus Heracleensis, Geog. Minor. Didot, p. 534. 

63 This tract is imperfect. The Greek version sends our tra- 
veller direct from Auxume into the interior of Africa, where he was 
not likely to hear anything about the Brahmans; the Latin on 
the other hand after saying every thing to dissuade him from the 
voyage to Ceylon, suddenly and without a hint that he had left 
Muziris sets him down in the midst of its angry and excited popu- 
lation. But it is rarely consistent with itself, for 1st, it describes 
Ceylon on hearsay as an island of the blest, " in qua sunt illi quibus 



CLAUDIUS TO JUSTINIAN. 199 

Roman name and fear of the Eoman power, ordered me 
to be set free, and severely punished the petty rajah who 
had enslaved me." 

Of the Brahmans this scholar reported, that they were 
not a society like our monks but a race, born^ Brahmans. 
They lived he said near the Ganges and in a state of 
nature. They went naked^ wandering in the woods, 
and sleeping on leaves. They had no domestic animals, 
tilled no land, and were without iron or house or fire or 
bread or wine; but then they breathed a pleasant, 
healthful air, wonderfully clear. They worshipped God, 
and had no slight, though not a thorough, knowledge of 
the ways of Providence. They prayed always turning. 



Beatorum nomen est," and seems to countenance that description, 
and yet the people our scholar fell among he found a weak, 
hideous, and inhospitable race. 2nd. It speaks of pepper as the 
chief produce of the island: "piper ibi nascitur in magnaque col- 
ligitur copia ; " but though pepper certainly grows in Ceylon, it 
is not and never has been among its staple productions (Ptolemy, 
viii, p. 212), nor to gather it the occupation of its people. But 
from their name and description. Sir E. Tennent (Ceylon) has iden- 
tified the Besadee with the Sinhalese Veddahs. Let me observe 
that the name is unknown to the Latin version and belongs to the 
Greek, which expressly states that our scholar never went to 
Oeylon : ov yap dedvvrfrat ovS* avros ets ttjj/ v-qaov eiaeAdnv, lib. Ill, 
vii, ib., and appears there in several shapes as Thebaids, Bethsiads, 
and Bethsads. 2ndly, that the Besadse are in Ptolemy a people 
living in the extreme north of India. 3rdly, that the Besadae, 
except in those great features common to the ill-fed barbarous 
races, bear no resemblance to any Sinhalese people. For though 
like the Veddahs they are puny, ill-shaped, live in caves and 
recognize a domestic chief, the Veddahs unlike them have no 
king living in a palace, no political existence, and no arts such as 
the existence of a baker implies, 
fi* Vide from Bardesanes, swjpra, pp. 152-3. 



200 INDIAN EMBASSIES, FROM 

but not superstitiously, to the East. They ate whatever 
came to hand, nnts and wild herbs, and drank water. 
Their wives, located on the other side of the Ganges, 
they visited during July and August,^^ their coldest 
months, and remained with them forty days.^^ But as 
soon as the wife had borne her husband two children, or 
after five years if she were barren, the Brahman ceased 
to have intercourse with her.^^ 

The Ganges is infested by the Odonto, a fearful 
monster, but which disappears during the Brahman 



65 "In India... December, Jannary, and February are their 
warmest months ; our summer being their winter ; July and 
August are their winter." — Masoudi's Meadows of Gold, p. 344, 
Though Masoudi confirms the statement of our traveller, in fact, 
the summer in India corresponds with our summer. 

66 Among the Buddhists : " Quand venait la saison des pluies 
...les Religieux pouvaient cesser la vie vagabonde des mendiants. 
II leur etait permis de se retirer dans des demeures fixes. Cela 
s'appelait sejourner pendant la Varcha: c'est-a-dire, pendant les 
quatre mois que dure la saison pluvieuse." Burnouf, Hist, du 
Bond., p. 285. The rainy season, however, is not the same on the 
East and West of the Ghauts. See too in the Mahabharata, the 
observance of times and seasons in the relations between the 
Brahmans and the widows of the Kshatryas exterminated by them. 
I, p. 268, Fouche's tr. 

67 Suidas, s. v. Bpoxiuaves, has, with a slight alteration, copied this 
account of the Brahmans. He says " they are a most pious people 
(c0i/os), without possessions and living in an island of the ocean 
given them by God; that Alexander came there and erected a 
pillar (the bronze pillar of Philostratus, As. Jour., xviii, p. 83) 
with the inscription * I, the great king Alexander came thus far ; * 
that the Makrobioi live here to 150, the air is so pure... The men 
thus dwell in the parts adjoining the ocean, but the women be- 
yond the Ganges, to whom they pass over in the months of 
July, etc.'' The island of the Indian Makrobioi is probably bor- 
rowed from the Atlantic Erythia, where dwelt the Ethiopian 



CLAUDIUS TO JUSTINIAN. 201 

pairing months, and by serpents seventy cubits long. 
The ants are in these parts a palm, and the scorpions a 
cubit in length ; and hence the difficulty of getting 
there. The tract then concludes with a series of letters, 
which purport to have passed between Dandamis, the 
chief of the Brahmans, and Alexander the Great, and 
which might have been written anywhere and by any- 
body, except one who had learned to think or was accus- 
tomed to command.^ 

Our author's account of his own experience of India, 
its great heat, is so absurdly impossible, that we lose 
all faith in his veracity. I believe neither in his own 
story, nor in that of his travelled lawyer who seems to 
me introduced merely to give reality and interest to 
the narrative. In the narrative itself we first hear of 
the loadstone rocks attached to the Maniolai, as guard- 
ing the coasts of Ceylon. These rocks, which the voy- 

Makrobioi according to Eustatius. Com. in Dion. Per., § 558, 
p. 325, II, Geog. Min. 

Hrot fjLcu paiovai $ooTpo(t>ov ajx<p* Epvdeiap 

ArXavros ircpi x*''A"* BcovSefS AiQioirr]€S, 

MaKpo^iuv i/tTjes afivfioves, oi irod' Ikovto 

Trjpvuvos fjL€Ta iror/jLov ayr)vopos. Diony. Perieget., 558, etc., ih. 
^ Of cotemporaries of Palladius, who in their works have noticed 
India, I pass over Marcianua Heracleensis (a.d. 401), who as a 
geographer had necessarily much to say about it, but who as the 
mere copyist of Ptolemy principally, and occasionally of other 
writers (Geog. Graec. Min. Pf., p. 133, I, ed. Didot, conf. Lassen, 
u. 8., 288, III), added nothing to the existing knowledge of India : 
and Justin, Hist. Philip. (Smith's Biog. Diet., s. v., and ^tat. 
Justini and Testamenta, Valpy's Delphin ed.), to whom we are 
indebted for much of the little we know of the Greek rule in 
Bactria and India, but whose history as an epitome of that of 
Trogus Pompeius belongs really to the Augustan age. 



202 INDIAN EMBASSIES, FROM 

ages of Sinbad have since made so famous, probably- 
owed their origin to some Arab merchant, some Scythi- 
anus, who while he amused the imaginations of his 
wondering customers, at the same time fenced round 
with terror the trading grounds whence he obtained his 
most precious wares. Here too we read of a Sinhalese 
Empire with dominions extending far into the interior 
of India, and here only ; for the Sinhalese annals show 
us Ceylon ever open to Tamil inroads, sometimes sub- 
dued or at best struggling for independence, and at other 
times prosperous and powerful, but never even then 
claiming rule over any part of India.^^ And here also 
we have an account of the Brahman marriage, which, 
though in one particular, divorce for barrenness, not alto- 
gether incorrect, is as a whole quite opposed as well to 
all we know of Brahman habits as to that ideal of 
Brahman life on which the Laws of Menu so willingly 
dweU/o 

69 This tract was written about a.d. 400. If the scholar ever 
existed, he must have travelled and obtained his knowledge of 
Ceylon some time in the last half of the fourth century, during 
the reigns of either Buddha Da'sa, from a.d. 339 to 368, or of 
Upatissa II, a.d. 308-410. From the Mahawauso, pp. 237-9, and 
the Eajavali, pp. 241-2, we gather, that Ceylon was at this time in 
a flourishing condition ; but we find nothing which can lead us to 
suppose that its kings held dominion in India. Fa-hian also was 
in Ceylon about a.d. 410, and his description of the island quite 
Corroborates the statements of its Sacred Books. Foe-koue-ki, 
xxxviii, 9. Upham's Sacred Books of Ceylon, 1, c, and Tumour's 
Appendix to the Mahawanso, p. 72. 

70 For the marriage duties and the respect due to women, v. 
Menu III, 45-8 and 55-62. For the marriage duties of women, 
ih. 153, 160, and ix, 74. The ideal of marriage : " Then only is a 
man perfect when he consists of three persons united, his wife. 



CLAUDIUS TO JUSTINIAN. 203 

About tliis same time (a.d. 360-420) appeared the 
Dionysiacs, a poem in forty-eight books, written by 
Nonnos of Panoplis in Egypt, to celebrate the triumphs 
of Bacchus and his conquest of India. The first eight 
books tell of Cadmus, and the loves of Jupiter, and the 
jealousy of Juno. The ninth, tenth, eleventh, and twelfth 
recount the birth and education of Bacchus, and his 
love for, and grief at the death of, the youthful satyr 
Ampelos /^ and how Ampelos was then changed into a 
vine, and how of the grapes Bacchus made wine and 
drank it, and threw off his old sorrow .'''^ In the 
thirteenth book Iris^^ from Jove calls on Bacchus to 
drive the arrogant and lawless Indians from Asia, and 
by great deeds and labours to gain a place in Olympus. 
It tlien enumerates the Centaurs, Satyrs, Cyclops, and 
peoples which gather round the Bacchic standard. In 
the fourteenth and fifteenth books Bacchus is in 



himself, and his son, and thus learned Brahmans have announced 
this maxim — The husband is even one person with his wife," ib. 
45. Consequent upon this " A barren wife may be superseded by 
another in the ninth year, she whose children are all dead in 
the tenth, she who brings forth only daughters in the eleventh," 
ih. 81. 

7^ Ow5€ c KaWos eXcnre, Kai ei Oavev a)s Sarupos Se 
KiiTO ViKus, yeKooovTi rravfiKfXos, otanep aiei 
XfiXf(^iv atpQoyyoKJi xtutv fieAiTjbvv aoLSrjv. xi, 250. 
7' ...nporepas 8' eppiipe juept^voy 

(papfiaKov 7]$riTTjpos exfv cuoS/iov oira/pijv. 290, xii. 
73 He sends Iris to bid him — 

o<ppa SiKTis aSiSuKTov vvepcjyiaKuf yevos IfSwi' 
AtJiSos e^€\a(Tfi(v. 5, xiii. 
Bat unlike the Iris of Homer, who always strictly delivers her 
message, she somewhat varies it, and bids him — 

fViJtfiirjs aSiSaKToi/ aXarTuaai yevos IfSuv, 



204 INDIAN EMBASSIES, FROM 

Bithynia near the lake Astracis/* and he then and there 
changes its waters into wine, encounters and makes 
drunk and captive an Indian army under Astrais 
{aarrip) ; and afterwards (seventeenth book) marches 
into Syria and defeats another and more powerful one 
commanded by the son-in-law of the Indian king 
Deriades/^ Orontes,^^ who in despair kills himself and 

7^ 6 irept NiKouaSeiav koXttos Aaraxvos KaKeirai. Strabo, xii, 43. 
Nonnos, ed. de Marcellus, N. N., 100, xiv, 7, xiv. 

'5 Ariptadv^, from Srjpts, strife, says Nonnos. The name is pro- 
bably borrowed from the Bassarics of Dionysius, for Eustatius in 
his Comm. on the Periegesis (606 v, p. 332, II, Geog. Grse. Min.) 
observes that the Erythraean king was Deriades, an Erythraean rqp 
yeuei, but who went to India and bravely opposed Bacchus. And 
then if Dionysius, as MiiUer is inclined to think, lived in the first 
century, it may possibly be either a translation or adaptation of 
the Sanskrit Duryodhana, from " dur," bad, and " yodna," strife, 
as Professor Wilson in a paper on the Dionysiacs of Nonnos, As. 
Ees., xvii, suggests, and may have become known in Greece 
through the Greeks who had visited India or the Hindus who 
visited Alexandria. Or as Duryodhana is the oldest of the 
Kaurava princes and one of the heroes of the Mahabharata, his 
name and some notion of the Epic may (spite of Strabo's hint to 
the contrary, L. xv, 3) have been transmitted to Greece by the 
Bactrian Greeks, whose relations with India were many and inti- 
mate. But in this case it is surely somewhat strange that of all 
this poem only one name, and that scarcely recognisable, and not 
the greatest nor the easiest fitted to Grecian lips, has found a place 
in Grecian literature. 

76 Orontes, Greek form of the Persian Arvanda from " arvat," 
flowing, Lassen, III, 147, or of the Egyptian Anrata, Eouge, tr. 
of a poem on the exploits of Rameses by Pentaour. Of this river 
both Wilson, u. s., p. 610, and Lassen observe that in the belief of 
Syria confirmed by the oracle of Klaros, it took its name from an 
Indian chief who died there, and whose coffin and bones indicating 
a height of eleven cubits were found when the Romans diverted 
or canalised the river, Pausanias, viii, 2, 3, and see Strabo, xvi, 
II, 7, p. 639. 



CLAUDIUS TO JUSTINIAN. 205 

gives his name to the neighbouring river, ever since called 
the Orontes. After this battle Blemmys, king of the 
Erythraean ladians but subject to Deriades, submits to 
Bacchus and settles with his people in Ethiopia/^ The 
eighteenth book shows us Staphylos, the Assyrian 
monarch, with Methe and Botrus, his wife and son, 
doing honour to and feasting Bacchus in their palace, 
whence after a drunken bout Bacchus goes on his way 
Indiaward, and at the same time despatches a herald to 
Deriades, and threatens war unless his gifts and orgies 
be accepted. The nineteenth book relates the death of 
Staphylos and the games held in his honour. In the 
twentieth, Bacchus reaches Arabia, but in the forest of 
Nyssa, while all unguarded and defenceless, is set upon 
by Lycurgus, and compelled to take refuge in the Ked 
Sea. The twenty-first book tells of his ambassador's 
reception at the Indian court, and of the scorn with 
which Deriades rejects the proffered gift of Bacchus. 
" He cares for no son of Jove," he says, " his sword and 
his buckler are his wine and drink, and his gods earth 
and water."^^ Bacchus learns this answer while frolick- 
ing with the mountain nymphs."^^ He prepares for war, 

'^ Eustatius, u. s,, on the authority either of Nonnos or the Bas- 
sarics, gives them the same origin : BK^nixv^s oOroo Kahovfievoi avo 
BK^nfivos rivos, 6s vnoaTparriywu Tcp jSatrtAei ATjpia^ji Kara Aiovvaov 
(TVV€iro^(ix€(Tc. (Com. v. 220. p. 255, ib.) 

78 .... AripiadrjS yap 

ov fiaOev ovpavicov fxaKapuv xopov, ovZe ytpaipu 
YiiXiov Kai Zr}va. 

VIVOS ffios vt\tv tyxos' 6 8' av ttotos ecrri fioftrj. 256. 

fiovuoi 6U6 yeyaaa-i deoi kui Taia Kai "tSwp, 261, xxi. 

79 ... opeiaai fxiyvvro Nvixcpais, 277, xxi. 



206 INDIAN EMBASSIES, FROM 

and calls on the Arab Ehadamanes to equip a fleet and 
attack the Indians by sea. He himself with his army 
passes over the Caucasus.^*^ In the twenty-second book 
"we have the first battle on Indian ground. Kear the 
Hydaspes in a thick forest the Indian forces under 
Thoreus lie in ambush but are betrayed to Bacchus, who 
by a pretended flight draws them out into the open and 
completely routs them, and then crosses the river to 
combat with Deriades. Deriades by the advice of 
Thoreus retreats on his elephants within the city walls. 
Attis on the part of Ehea presents Bacchus with arms 
forged by Vulcan, and foretells that not till the seventh 
year shall he destroy the Indian capital. ^^ In the mean- 
while Deriades at the treacherous instigation of Minerva 
marshals his hosts ; and the twenty-sixth book gives the 
names of the cities, islands, and peoples, with their chiefs, 
which form his army. And on the contents of this book 
as specially occupied with India we shall dweU at some 
length. At the summons of Deriades came Agraios 
{ay pa, the chase) and Phlegios {(pXeyo), to burn) the two 
sons of Eulseus (river, Ulai ? Marcellus) and with them 
those who dwell in Kusa^^ and Bagia, near the broad 

80 The passage scarce occupies three lines — 

Ktti Taxws r)\a(Te 5i(ppou Ecciov eis KXifxa yairis 

afjKpi 5e Trerprji' 
KavKaaiTjv Ko^oivra Biaoreixof Kcvoova . , . 
UcDTjs irapafieifie ve^av. 307, xxi. 

81 ov yap itpiv iro\€fMov reXos ecraeTat, €i<TOKe ;^ap/xr}j 
fKTOv apairXifjauiaiu €tos rerpa^tryes 'Q,pai. 

€j35ojuaTq> XvKa^avTi diappaiffeis iroXiv luSoav. 363-7, XXV. 

82 Those who would identify the different places, in the text I 



CLAUDIUS TO JUSTINIAN. 207 

muddy waters of the Indian Zorambos ; the people, too, 
of the well-turreted Ehodoe, the craggy Propanisos, and 
the isle Gerion,^ where not the mothers, but tlie fathers, 
suckle their children. There, too, were found the in- 
habitants of the lofty Sesindos and of Gazos^* girt about 
with impregnable linen-woven bulwarks. Near them 
were ranged the brave Dardae^^ and the Prasian force 
with the gold-covered tribes of the Sarangi,^^ who live 
on vegetables and grind them down instead of corn. 
Then came the curly-haired Zabians with their wise 
ruler Stassanor ; then Morrheus^^ and Didnasos eager to 
avenge the death of his son Orontes. Now followed the 
many-languaged Indians from well-built sunny ^thra. 



refer to M. de Marcellus' notes to the twenty-sixth book of his edi- 
tion of Nonnos. They will at the same time see how he has ac- 
commodated, and I think not unfairly, the names to the Geogra- 
phies of Ptolemy, etc. 

^ r-npeiav, PoSorjj' re Kai ot Xtvoreixea Ta^ov. Stephan, Byzant., 
s. v., Ta^os from the third book of the Bassarics of Dionysius. 

84 This description of Gazos is borrowed from the BacraaptKa of 
Dionysius (n. 12, xxvi, B. de Marcellus), and from the same source 
he probably took his account of Gereion and the Sarangii, for 
Nonnos is of those poets who repeat but do not invent. Stephanos 
Byzantinus by the way frequently quotes the Bassarics of Dionysius 
as a historical authority, e. g., s. v. BAf/uues and Fa^os. 

^ AapSa* IvBiKov fOuos viro Arjoiadrj noAffirjarav Aiovva^ as Aiovvaios 
fv 76 BaaaapiKwv, Steph., s. v. AapSay. 

86 2apa77ai 5e ct/tiara /uev ^ffia/xfieva eveirpeirov ex^"*^^^* Herod., 
vii, c. 67. 

^ Lassen, u. s., derives Morrheus from fioppea, the material of 
the vasa murrhina. Prof. W. H. Wilson, ih., suggests Maha- 
rajah. Neither derivation seems to me satisfactory, — the first 
strange and far-fetched, the second scarcely applicable, for Mor- 
rheus is no rajah, a soldier of fortune merely, though of high birth, 
an autocthon : ijAtjSaTow Tv<pwyos exav avrox^ova (pv\r\v, 177, xxxiv. 



208 INDIAN EMBASSIES, FROM 

and they who hold the jungles (Xacncova) of Asene and the 
reedy Andonides, the burning Nicsea, the calm Malana, 
and the water-girt plains of Patalene. Next them 
marched the serried ranks {irvKwaC) of the Dosareans 
and the hairy-breasted Sabaroi, and Phringos, Aspetos, 
Tanyclos, Hippouros, and Egretios, then the Ouatecetoi,^ 
who sleep lying on their long ears, led on by their chiefs. 
Tectaphus also was there at the head of his Bolingians,^^ 
Tectaphus, whom when in prison his daughter suckled 
and saved from death. From the earth's extremity 
Giglon, Thoureus, and Hippalmas brought up the 
Arachotes and the Drangiai, who cover with dust^ 
those whom the sword has slain. Habraatos com- 
manded the archers, shamed by the loss of his hair 
cut off by order of Deriades, and a disgrace among 
the Indians ; he came on slowly and perforce with hate 
in his heart. He ruled the savage Scyths, the brave 
Ariainoi, the Zoaroi, the Arenoi, the Caspeiri,^^ the 
Arbians of the Hysparos, and the Arsanians whose 
women are wondrously skilled in weaving. Near them 
were ranged the Cirradioi used to naval warfare, but in 

88 So Scylax. Tzetzes Chil., vii. Hist., 144, 1. 635. 

89 Kat Tore Ba)\i777jcrt /xer' avlpaai Tckto^os upro. — Bassar., Dio- 
nys., Stephanos Byz., s. v. 'RtttKiyya.. 

90 "The Dandis and Dasnamis Sectaries of Siva... put their 
dead into coffins and bury them, or commit them to some sacred 
stream." — H. H. Wilson, Eeligious Sects of the Hindus, As. Ees., 
xvii, 176, and in a note : " In the south the ascetic followers of 
Siva and Vishnu bury their dead (Dubois), so do the Vaishnava 
(Varangis ? ), and Sanyasis in the north of India" (see Ward), all 
the castes in the south that wear the Lingam — ih. 

91 iv Se re Kaaimpoi. iroai icAetTot, ev 5' Apir}voi, Stephanos, S. V. 
KaairiipoSf from the Bassar. Dionys. 



CLAUDIUS TO JUSTINIAN, 209 

boats of skins ; their chiefs were Thyamis and Olkaros, 
sons of Tharseros the rower. Under Phylites, son of 
Hipparios, came a swarm of men from Arizanteia, where 
a certain bushy tree from its green leaves distils sweet 
honey,^^ while from its branches the Horion^^ pours forth 
a song like the swan's for melody, and the yellow purple- 
w^inged Catreus utters its shrill cry, prophetic of rain. 
Then followed the Sibai, the people of Hydara, and the 
Carmanian hosts, with their leaders Kolkaros and 
Astrais, the sons of Logos. The three hundred isles at 
the mouths of the Indus sent their contingent under 
Eipsasos, a giant in stature (e%a)i/ tvhaXjjboa Ttyavrcov, 
V. 248). Aretos too with his five sons born deaf and 
dumb obeyed the call of Deriades, with them were 
ranged the shield-bearing warriors of Pyle, Kolalla and 
Goryandos ; while under Phylates marched those who 
dwell in the woody Osthe, mother of elephants, and 
near them their neighbours from Euthydimeia, speaking 
another tongue. The Derbicei, the Ethiopians, the Sac?e, 
the Bactrians, and the Blemyes, also joined the army of 
Deriades. 

The contest then begins. The Gods, as was their 



^ Eari 56 Kai SevSpo Trap' avrois fxeXt iroiovVTa avev ^coui/. Strabo, xv, 
I, 20, Geog. Min. Grsec, p. 620, ii. 

93 Clitarchus, quoted by Strabo, speaking of the movable aviaries 
belonging to the Indian kings, says that they are filled with large 
leaved trees, on the branches of which are perched all sorts of tame 
birds, and that of these the sweetest songster is the horion, the 
most beautiful the catreus : wv evibwuoTaTov fx€v...rov wpiwva, Ka/nirpo- 
rarov Se Kara o^^v Kai irKeiarriv exoi'Ta iroiKiKiav rov Kurpea, xv, I, p. 
690, and Fragmenta Clitarchi, 18 and 18a, Scriptores Eev. Alex., 
Didot's ed. 



210 INDIAN EMBASSIES, FEOM 

wont, take each his side. Jupiter, Apollo, Vulcan, and 
Minerva, declare for the Bassarids ; Juno with Mars, 
Ceres, and I^eptune, for Deriades and his Indians 
and from no interested motives, for throughout De- 
riades stoutly disavows all allegiance to them. The 
fight is carried on with various fortune. Now the 
Indians flee before Bacchus and his crew aided by the 
gods ; and now, headed by Mars, Morrheus, and Deriades, 
or Deriades' wife and daughters, and befriended by the 
stratagems of Juno,^* they drive him from the field. At 
length night intervenes (xxxvii.), and Greeks and 
Indians bury their dead : the Greeks with funeral piles 
and games, the Indians with tearless eyes, for for them 
death but frees the soul from earthly chains, and sends it 
back to its old starting point, to run afresh life's circle 
of change.^^ 

Six years have now passed away, and Khea has long 
ago announced that the seventh year and a naval battle 
shall put an end to the war. The Khadamanes arrive 
with their ships. Deriades collects his fleet and goes 
forth to meet them.^^ The fight is long and doubtful, 

9* Juno drives Bacchus mad. Eustatius in his Commentary on 
Dionysius, v. 976, alludes to this madness, probably from the Bas- 
sarics : Mau'erat Aiovvaos 'Hpas trpopoK^. Geog. Min., II, p. 386. It 
is also mentioned by Pseudo Plutarchus, de Fluv. et Mont. Nom., 
Geog. Min. Grsec, II, p. 663. 

95 o/j-fxaaiv aK\avToi(Tiv erapxvffavTo BavovraSf 

ola fiiou ^poreov yairjia Setr/ia <pvyovTas, 
ylfvxvs irefxrroixevrjs ddev 7jA.u0e, KVKXaSi ffeipij 
vvaaav es apxo-'-f]^' xxxvii, 3 V. V. 

^ Morrheus, xxxvi, speaks of the Ehadamanes as ship-builders : 
^Kxaiw Vabafxavas, on SpuTO/mCf} tivi t^x^V 
vrias fTtx^Vf^f'V'^o (pxryoTtroX^fiif Aiovvfftp, 414 v. v. 

but boasts of Indian skill on the sea : ivSot 



CLAUDIUS TO JUSTINIAN. 211 

till at length the Cabeirian Eurymedon sends a fire ship 
into the midst of the Indians, and a general conflagra- 
tion ensues. Deriades (xl b., 75) escapes, renews the 
contest on land, and engages in a single combat with 
Bacchus ; but, affrighted by the presence of Minerva,^^ 
he flies towards the Hydaspes, and, struck by the thyrsus 
of his adversary, falls and dies in the river. The city 
and India submit to the conqueror ; and Bacchus having 
raised a monument to those of his troops who have 
perished distributes the spoils among the survivors, and 
then returns to Lydia. The remaining eight books tell 
of the loves and wars and vengeance of Bacchus, and 
the poem concludes with his apotheosis.^^ 

Notwithstanding the probability that through the 
Bactrian Greeks some knowledge of the Hindu Epics 
may have reached Greece and our author, I am inclined 
to think that they were wholly unknown to him. 

I. Because his poem speaks of an Indian Empire ex- 
tending to the shores of the Mediterranean and Bed 
Seas, while the Indian books show us the tide of Indian 



. . . . IvSoi yap eOrifjLOves ^lart kvBoi/iov 

ewaXiov, Kai fiaWuv apiarivovai BaKaaari 

■q x^oi't SrjpiooovTes, 465 V.V. 

AOrjvr} 
duifioi'i fioTpvcvTi Ttapiararo' dfpKOfjLCPov Se 
SeifjiaTi Oeaireaicf \vro yovvara AipiaSrioi. xl, 74 V.V, 

Kai deos afnTi\o€is, varpmov aiOepa fiaiPCDv, 

varpt aw evcoSivi finjs fxj/avae TpaTref?]?, 

Kat Pput€7}p fJLira SotTO, /uera TrpoTiprjv x^'O'"' oivov, 

ovpu'^iov TTte V€KTap apuoTepoiari KvireWois 

cvvBpovos AnoWcoui, auvtjrios vU'i Manjs. xlviii. 



212 INDIAN EMBASSIES, FROM 

domination rolling ever south and east, and if west- 
ward,^^ never passing the Indus. 

■ II. Because, though the names of the Indian cities 
and peoples in the Dionysiacs, as edited by the Comte 
de Marcellus, pretty fairly correspond with those given 
by Ptolemy, Pliny, and Strabo, and are thus accounted 
for, the names of its Indian chiefs are with but few 
exceptions, as Morrheus, Orontes, etc., purely Greek. 

III. Because his Indian facts, manners, and customs 
are few, and are : 

1st. Such as were long before his time well known to 
the Eoman world ; as when he tells of the tearless eyes 
with which the Indians bury their dead, and of their 
belief in metempsychosis ; and shows them worshipping 
earth, water, and the sun, and marshalling their elephants 
for war, and calling their Brahmans to counsel, or em- 
ploying them as physicians.^ 

2ndly. Such as were not so well known, but for which 
authority may be found in the Indian books ; as when 

^ But compare Gildemeister, Scrip. Arab, de Eebus Indicia, pp. 
2, 8, 9. The Mababharata also knows of world-conquerors who 
necessarily extend their dominion westward; thus for Yudd- 
histara, his brother conquered Kalamankas, " La charmante cite 
d'Akair et la capitale des Yavanas/' p. 457 ; and Nakaula five 
kingdoms, the Civis, Trigattas, Ambashthas, Milasas, and Kar- 
patas, p. 439 ; also the Varvaras, Kivatas, Yavanas, Cakas, 440, II, 
and again 459, v. iv, but these are geographical names merely ; 
there is no indication of any permanent occupation. 

1 And the Brahmans heal the wound with magic chaunt just as 
in Homer ; thus when Morrheus is wounded — 

'0({>pa fiev epdeov e A/cos, 6 fxiv Xax^, ^aifxovn] x^ip 

AvaiTTOvov BpaxfJi-Wos aKeaaaro 4>oij8a5t rexvT), 

diCTTiaij) fxayov vfxvov {nrorpv^ovros aoidrj. xxxix, 369. 



CLAUDIUS TO JUSTINIAN. 213 

Deriades disgraces Habraatos by depriving him of his 
hair — thus Yasichta punishes the Sacas by cutting off 
the half of their hair, and the Yavanas by shaving their 
heads f and chooses two soldiers of fortune^ for his 
sons-in-law — thus their fathers give Sita and Draupati,* 
the one to the strongest, the other to the most skilful, 
bowman ; and as when Morrheus neglects and deserts 
his wife, daughter of Deriades, for a Bacchante — thus 
the Hindu Theatre^ affords more than one example of 
kings and Brahmans in love with women other than 
their wives, as in the Toy-cart, the Necklace, the Statue,^ 
etc. But however warranted by Indian custom these 
several acts, as presented by Nonnos, scarcely associate 
themselves with Hindu life, certainly not more than the 
name of Deriades with that of Duryodhana, though 
they sufficiently remind us of the Greeks of the Lower 
Empire/ 

2 Harivansa, I, p. 68. Langlois, tr.. Or. Tr. Fund ; and Wilson, 
Hindu Theatre, 332, II. 

3 Of Morrheus — 

vvfi(j)ios uKTijiJicov, op6T77 S'e/cTrjtTaro vvfKprjv. xxxiv, 163. 
And when Deriades married his daughters, all gifts 
. . . . ayfXas $€ jSoevc Kat rrtoea ixr\\o»v 
Arjpia^fis aireenre' Kat eypeixodoKTi /iaxTjTOiS 
&vyaT€poi)v e^ev^ev aStopoSoKovs ifxevaiovs. ih., 169, 170. 

* With a certain reserve " Un roi puissant ne doit introduire 
dans un alliance qu'un mortel de la plus haute renommee," says 
the father of Draupadi. Mahab. II, p. 167. 

6 Wilson's Hindu Theatre, pp. 326 and 364, II. 

* See the several plays in Wilson's Hindu Theatre, and some 
observations of Wilson's on the plurality of wives among the 
Hindus, II, 359. 

7 I do not however know that this inappreciation of Indian life 
is an evidence of Nonnos's ignorance of the Hindu books, only of 



214 INDIAN EMBASSIES, FROM 

3rdly. Such as are unsupported by Hindu authority. 
Thus Deriades shows himself skilled in the niceties of 
Greek mythology, and his wife and daughter Bacchanal- 
like rush to the battle f and, as if India were deficient 
in wonders, the fathers in Gereion suckle their children, 
and Gazos is impregnable with its cotton bulwarks. 

The Topographia Christiana (a.d. 535) next claims 
our attention. Its author, Cosmas, who had been a 
merchant, and who as a merchant had travelled over 
the greater part of the then known world, betook him- 
self in his latter years to a monastery, and there, 
though weak of sight and ailing in body, and not regu- 
larly educated,^ set himself in this work to prove, that 
our world was no sphere, but a solid plane.^^ He de- 
scribes it, and illustrates this and indeed all his 
descriptions by drawings,^^ as a parallelogram lying 
lengthways east and west, and sloping up very gradually 

his want of imagination. With, some play of fancy and the faculty 
of verse Nonnos is essentially without the poet's power. His per- 
sonages are all conventional, and I suspect that no knowledge of 
India, not even had he trudged through it on foot, would have 
made them more Indian, more real, and more lifelike. 

8 In the Hanuman Nataka, nevertheless, the wife of Ravana, to 
animate his drooping courage, offers 

*' If you command, by your side I march 
Fearless to fight, for I too am a Kshatrya." 

Hind. Theat., II, p. 371. 
® aaOevwv Tjucov rvyxo-vovToev rcfi re aoofxari, rais tc o^pe<Ti...Trie^onevoov 
— aWws T6 Kai Trjs i^codev ejKVKAiov iraibias Kditofx^vav Kai py\ropiKri% 
Ttx^n^ ayLQipovvTuv, Lib. II, p. 124. Montfaucon, Nova Collectio 
Patrum, vol. ii. 

10 Vide Prolog., II, pp. 114-5. 

11 Vide the Plates at the beginning of Montfaucon's Nova Col- 
lectio Patrum, v. ii, PI. 1. 



CLAUDIUS TO JUSTINIAN. 215 

from its base, but more gradually on its south and west 
than on its north and east sides, into a huge conical 
mountain round which sun and moon run their courses, 
and bring with them day and night.^^ All about this 
gTeat mass of earty^ he places an impassable ocean, 
communicating with it by four gulfs, the Mediterranean, 
Arabic, Persian, and Caspian Seas,^* but eternally 
separating it from a trans-oceanic land, where was and is 
Eden, the happy birthplace of our race, and whence rise 
sheer up those mighty walls which arch themselves into 
the firmament above us. Written with such a theme, 
enforced by many quotations from scripture misunder- 
stood, and the authority of fathers and philosophers, 
worthless on this point, the Topographia Christiana is 
but dull reading, and would long since have been for- 
gotten had it not here and there been lighted up by 
some sketch of Cosmas's own travels, some notice of 
what liad fallen either under his own observation or that 
of other trustworthy and competent witnesses, and 
always told with a simplicity and guarded truthfulness 
which place him in the first rank of those who know 
how to speak of what they have seen, and repeat what 
they have heard, just as seen and heard, without ex- 
aggeration and without ornament. 

Cosmas had a personal knowledge of three of the four 



^2 Vide pp. 133-4 and notes, ih. 

" The length he computes to be of four hundred mansions of 
thirty miles each, its breadth of about two hundred, vide p. 138. 

1^ Lib. iv, p. 188, and pp. 188-7, and p. 132 : cim Se tv ravT-p rr/ yri 
fi<T^a\\ovT€t €K rov nK(avov...Ko\irotrfcrcrafj€s\..ovToiyap fiovoioi KoKiroi 
■nheovTai' ahvvajov vvapx^vros rov CiKtavov Tr\f(a6ai. P. 132. 



216 INDIAN EMBASSIES, FROM 

inland seas — the Caspian^^ he had not visited. As an 
occasional resident at Alexandria (p. 124), he knew the 
Mediterranean well. He had sailed down the Eed Sea 
from (Ela and Alexandria to Adule ;^^ he had passed the 
Straits of Bab-el-Mandeb, and had been within sight of, 
though he did not land at, the Island of Socotora ;^'^ 
and thence, if he ever visited India, had stretched across 
the main to Ceylon and the Malabar Coast, or, coasting 
and trading along the eastern shores of Arabia, had 
made for the Persian Gulf and the emporia of the Indus. 
Once, too, the ship in which he sailed was on the very 
verge of the great ocean, and then the flocks of birds 
hovering about, the thick mists, and the swell of 
meeting currents^^ warned sailors and passengers of 

15 ffXTopias yap X°P^^ firXevaa rovs rptis koXvovs toutouv, rov re Kara 
tt]v Vufxaviav Kot rou Apafiiov /cat rov HepaiKov /cat avo ruv oiKovvrmv 56 
7] KM irAeovruv rovs roirous oKpijBws fiTiixaQrjKws, p. 132. 

^^ Adule €vda KOt rrjv e/jLiropiav votovfxeOa olov avo KKe^avZpeias Kai otto 
EAo iixiropevofxfvoi, p. 140. 

17 Dioscorides rjv vr)crov irapeir^fvaaneu ov Kar7]\6ou Se €V ourp, p. 179. 
Masoudi III, p. 37, speaks of Socotra as colonised by Greeks much, 
as Cosmas does, pp. 178-9; but Masoudi by Greeks sent by 
Alexander himself, Cosmas by Greeks subjects of the Ptolemies, 
his successors. But when the Periplus was written the northern 
extremity only was inhabited, and by Indians, Arabs, and 
Ethiopians. 

18 Masoudi, in his Meadows of Gold, says of the sea of Zanj, " I 
have often been at sea, as in the Chinese Sea, the Caspian, the 
Eed Sea. I have encountered many perils, but I have found the 
sea of Zanj the most dangerous of all," p. 263, and pp. 233-4! 
French tr. Soc. Asiat., by Barbier, Eeinaud, and de Courteille. See 
also from Albyrouny, by Eeinaud, Journal Asiatique, Sept. — Oct., 
1844, pp. 237-8. But as indicative of the superior experience and 
enterprise of his age, compare with Cosmas the description of the 
same sea by the author of the Periplus ; he points out its dangers 



CLAUDIUS TO JUSTINIAN. 217 

their danger, and their remonstrances induced the pilot 
to change his course.^^ On the continent he had crossed 
the Desert of Sinai on foot f^ he was well known at 
Adule f^ he had visited Auxume f^ and indeed had 
travelled over the greater part of Egypt and Ethiopia 
and the countries bordering on the Arabian Gulf; and 
had moreover written an account of them which un- 
fortunately has not come down to us.^^ 

at certain seasons because open to the south wind ; and also how 
the danger may be foreseen by the turbid colour of the sea, and 
how all then make for the shelter of the great promontory Tabor, 
§ 12, I, p. 266, Geog. Min. Glrsec. 

^^ Eu ois TTOTf 7r\6U(Taj/T6S 67ri TTjJ' ecTCCTcpau IpSiav (fv T77 TojSpoiroi'Tj, fP 
r-p facerepa Ii'Sict ep&a ro IuSikov ireha-yos tan, p. 178), Kai virtpfiavTes 
fiiKpcf) irpos rriv Bap0aptap' €vda rrepairepu) to Ziyyioy rvyxo-Vft' ovtw yap 
KaAfoviTi ro arofxa rov ClK^avov (K€i (deupovv fifv ft? to Se^m €i(T€pxofifvwv 
rjuwv, ir\r)6os vtT€iVQ>v...a KaXovai (Tova<pa,..Kai 8vaafpiav Tto\KT)v oicnt 
ZeiXic^v Ttavrai' fXiyov yap travres Ttp Kv0€pvr)rr} aircoae ttiv vavv €iri ra 
apicrrepa fis rov koXvop, pp. 132-3. And Bap$apia kvkXovtui vtto rov 
riKfavov €K Se^iuiV, p. 137. And, avo A^wjueeos ewy anpwv rrjs Ax^avuTO- 
<popov rr]s Aidionias rrjs KaXoviAevrjs Bapfiapias, r]ris Kai 7ropa«€tTat rfp 
ClKiav(^, p. 138. The recommendation to the steersman would, 
therefore, it seems, have driven them further out to sea, unless we 
suppose that they were just doubling the promontorium Aromata, 
when it would bring them nearer to the Arabian coast. 

2^ 'Cis oiToj «7« Trefoucras ro^s roirous fxaprvpu. Of the desert of 
Sinai, p. 205. 

21 Here Elesboas commissioned him to copy, the inscription on 
the throne of Ptolemy, p. 141. 

22 c| Sdv rois o<l)da\fxois rjixcov eOfaaafXiOa fin ra ix(pr) A^wfi^tos €V rp 
AidiovKf, p 264. 

2J Vide Prologos II. I have noticed only those places which 
Cosmas positively states he had visited, but he insinuates a much 
wider range of travel. Thus measuring the earth's breadth from 
the Hyperborean lands to Sasus, he says there are but two hundred 
mansions : aKpifius yap ciriaraixtvoi, /tat ov iroKv Biaixapravoyres rijs 
aXrjdfias, ra (jlcv ir\€uaavT6$ Kai oSevaravrfS ra 5' afcpt/3«s fitnaOriKUS 
Kartypa^pafxiv, p. 144. 



218 INDIAN EMBASSIES, FEOM 

But Cosmas, a mercliant and a traveller, mixed mucli 
with other merchants and travellers ; and while his 
simple and genial nature won their confidence, his 
curious and enquiring mind drew from them all they 
had to tell of or had seen in other lands that was worthy 
of note. With their information he corrected or con- 
firmed his own impressions and enlarged and completed 
his knowledge. In this way he first heard from Patri- 
cius of the dangers of the Zangian Ocean,^* and in this 
way he learned the adventures of Sopater ; and in this 
way, by going among the slaves^^ of the merchants at 
Adule and questioning them about their people and 
country, he was able to speak to the correctness of the 
inscription on Ptolemy's chair. 

As a merchant engaged in the Eastern trade, Cosmas 
was interested in and well acquainted with everything 
relating to it. He has accordingly noticed the principal 
ports at which it was carried on, together with the kinds 
of goods which each port specially supplied. He speaks 
of China, the country of silk, as lying to the left as you 
enter the Indian Sea in the furthest East and on the 
very borders of the habitable world, and yet not so far 
but that in its cities might occasionally be seen some 
Western merchant lured thither by the hope of gain.^^ 

^ ravra 8e -irapa\a$(av €K rov Oeiov av^pov...riroi Kai aurrjj ttjs rreipas, 
fffri/xriva, p. 132. 

^ Captain Burton describes the trade at Zanzibar as in the 
hands of Arab merchants, who bring with them a train of native 
porters, some of them as many as two hundred. 

2^ avTTi 5e 7] x<*'P« "^ov nera^iov cariv ev 777 iawnpa. iravroov IvSiq, Kara 
TO apurr^pov ixepoi ^ktiovtou rov IvdiKov ireKayeos, and a little before. 



CLAUDIUS TO JUSTINIAN. 219 

Adjoining China^^ to the West was the clove region ; 
then came Caber and next Marallo, famed, the one for 
its alobandenum, the other for its shells. With Marallo 
Ceylon seems to have been in communication, as it 
certainly was with the five pepper marts of Male, Pudo- 
patana, Nalopatano and Salopatana, Mangarouth^^ and 
Purti, and the other ports further northward on the 
western coast of the Indian Peninsula, as Sibor and 
Calliana^^ a place of great trade where ships might load 
with copper, sesamine wood, and clothing stuffs, Orr- 
hotha^^ and Sindus, which last exported musk and 
androstachys. These Indian marts forwarded their 
wares to a great emporium situated on the southern 
coast of Ceylon, where they exchanged them for the 
silk, cloves, aloes, tsandana, and other merchandise 
which came from China and the countries lying east- 
ward, or for Koman gold^^ and the manufactures of the 
West. In its ports^^ you might see ships freighted for, 

C( yap rives Sia fieTa^Tjv eis ra fffxara rrjs yrjs cfiiropias oiKTpas X°-P^^ °^*^ 
OKvovai hieKQuv, p. 137. 

27 For this account of the countries and ports of the East trading 
with Ceylon, vide pp. 337-8. 

28 "Mangarat, urbs inter Malabaricas maxima regi gentili 
obediens," Gildemeister de rebus Indie, p. 184. 

29 Calliana : Lassen, Kaljani ; Hippocura on the mainland, some- 
what to the north-west of Bombay. 

3" Orrhotha, Soratha, Surat. 

8^ To the universal use of Eoman gold Cosmas testifies : ev ry 
vo/xianart avrcou (Pw/uoicov) f/xiropivovTai, iravra ra t6vT)...0av(xa^oiJ,ivov 
irapa vavTos av6puirov...iTfpc^ ^aaiKeicj, ovk inrapx^i to tojouto, p. 148. 

^ Ibn Batoutah similarly speaks of Calicut, the great emporium 
of his day. " Un des grands ports du Malabar. Les gens de la 
Chine, de Java, de Ceylon, des Maldives, du Yaman, et du Fars 
s'y rendent, et les trafiquants de diverses regions s'y reunissent. 



220 INDIAN EMBASSIES, FROM 

X)v coming from, Persia, Ethiopia, and every part of 
India, and in its markets you met with men of all 
nations, Indians, Persians, Homerites, and merchants of 
Adule. Answering to this great commercial city of the 
East was Adule in the West, situated some two miles 
inland^^ on the southern shore and at no great distance 
from the mouth of the Arabian Gulf. It was in direct 
and frequent communication with India. The merchants 
of (Ela and Alexandria thronged to its markets ; for 
there they found, besides the rich productions of the 
East, slaves, spices, emeralds,^* and ivory, from Ethiopia 
and Barbaria. 

Besides the sea route from China to the Persian Grulf, 
Cosmas speaks also of another and a shorter road^^ which 
led through Juvia,^^ India, and Bactria to the eastern con- 
fines of Persia one hundred and fifty stations, and thence 
through Nisibis, eighty stations, to Seleucia, thirteen 
stations more, and each station he computes at about 
thirty miles. That this road was much frequented may 
be gathered from the quantities of sUk always to be 
found in Persia and which it brought there ; but that 
it was used only by Persian, and not by Eoman mer- 
chants,^'' I presume from the exaggerated length attri- 



Son port est au nombre des plus grands du monde,*' iv, 89. 
Dufremery, tr. 

83 Vide pp. 140 and 338. 

34 Vide p. 339. 

'^ SiaTf/xvei ovv iroWa ^laarrifiara 6 Sia ttjs 65ou cpxofJievos airo 
T^ivir^as €iri HepariSa, 6d€v Kat, -irKridos ficTa^iov oet 67ri ttji/ Uepai^a 
(vpi(TK€Tai, p. 138, B. 

•^ lb. " Vaticanus autem Ouwia secunda inanu.*' Note. 

3' Ammianus MarceUinua seems to intimate that in his time 



CLAUDIUS TO JUSTINIAN. 221 

biited to it by Cosmas, and his generally vague account 
of it.38 

He speaks of Ceylon as situated in the Indian Sea 
beyond the pepper country midway between China and 
the Persian Gulf,^^ and as lying in the midst of a cluster 
of islands which are all covered with cocoanut trees*^ 
and have springs of fresh water. On the authority of 
the natives he gives it a length and breadth of about 
two hundred miles each, and states that it is divided 
into two hostile kingdoms. Of these the country of the 
Hyacinth has many temples, and one with a pinnacle 
which is surmounted by a hyacinth the size they say of 
a fir cone, of a blood red colour, and so bright that when 
the sun shines upon it, it is a wondrous sight. ^^ The 

this road was travelled by Eoman merchants : " Prseter quorum 
radices et vicum quein Lithinon pyrgon appellant iter longissimum 
mercatoribus petitum ad Seras subinde commeantibus," p. 335. 

^ Nisibis and Pekin are on the thirty-seventh and fortieth 
parallels of north latitude respectively, and the one on the forty- 
first, the other on the one hundred and seventeenth parallels of 
longitude ; there are consequently seventy-six degrees of longitude 
between them. But according to Cosmas there are two hundred 
and thirty stations of thirty miles each, or 6,900 miles. In the 
same way between Seleucia and Nisibis he places thirteen stations, 
or 390 miles, whereas there are in fact but four degrees of latitude. 
Might then these fiuvai airo fiiKiov A' be airo fiiXiov k of twenty 
miles, which would pretty fairly give the real distance ? 

89 " L'ile de Kalah," Point de Galle, " qui est situee a mi-chemin 
entre les terres de la Chine et le pays des Arabes." Eelations 
Arabes, p. 93. It was then the centre of traffic both from and for 
Arabia, 94 id. 

*> apyeWia (p. 336 Cosmas). The narikala of the Hindus, and 
the nardgyl of the Arabs. Eel. Arabes, LVII Discours Prel. ; and 
for an account of the islands, id., p. 4. 

•»i Hiouen-Thsang (a.d. 648, some century after Cosmas) thus : 



222 INDIAN EMBASSIES, FROM 

other kingdom occupies the rest of the island, and is 
celebrated for its harbour and much frequented markets. 
The king is not of the same race as the people. 

In Cosmas's time India seems to have been parcelled 
out into many petty sovereignties ; for besides these two 
kings of Ceylon he knows of a king of Malabar, and 
kings of Calliena, Sindus, etc., but all these rajahs seem 
to have acknowledged the supremacy of, and paid tri- 
bute to, Gollas, king of the White Huns,*^ a white people 
settled in the northern parts of India. Of this Gollas 
he relates that besides a large force of cavalry he could 
bring into the field two thousand elephants, and that 
his armies were so large that once when besieging an 
inland town defended by a water fosse, his men, horses 



" A c6te du palais du roi s'el^ve le Yihara de la dent de Bouddha. 
. . . Sur le sommet du Vihara on a eleve une fleche surmontee 
d'une pierre d'une grande valeur, appellee rubis. Cette pierre 
precieuse repand constamment un eclat resplendissant. Le jour 
et la nuit en regardant dans le lointain, on croit voir une etoile 
lumineuse," II, p. 141. Fa-hian, however, who was at Ceylon, 
A.D. 410 : " Dans la ville on a encore construit un edifice pour une 
dent de Foe. II est entierement fait avec les sept choses pre- 
cieuses," p. 333. Fa-hian thus mentions this Vihara, and, as if 
only lately built, but says nothing of the hyacinth, probably 
placed there subsequently to his time, v. Marco Polo, 449, Societe 
Geog., ed. 

^2 To OvvvcDV r(ov E(f)6a\ir(av tQvos, ovairep XevKovs ovofia^ovcri. Pro- 
copius, de Bell. Pers., I, III, p. 15. EtpBaKirai 5e Owvikov fiev sBvos 
€uri /cat ovofJi.a^ovrai...ixovoi. Se ovtoi AeuKOi re ra aufxara Kai ovk afxaptpoi 
Tas o^eis f Iff IV, p. 16, id. The valley of the Indus seems to have 
been occupied by a Tartar tribe, even in the first century of our 
era. Ptolemy calls the lower Indus Indo-Scyth. Eeinaud, Mem. 
sur rinde, p. 8 1 and p. 104. 



CLAUDIUS TO JUSTINIAN. 223 

and elephants, first drank up the water, and then 
inarched into the place dryshod.*^ 

He speaks of elephants as necessary to the state of an 
Indian monarch, and of the petty rajahs of the sea-board 
as keeping some five, some six, hundred elephants, and 
of the king of Ceylon as having moreover a stud of 
horses which came from Persia and were admitted into 
his ports duty free.^ His elephants he bought and paid 
for according to their size at from fifty to one hundred 
golden pieces^^ each, and sometimes even more. They 
were broken in for riding and were sometimes pitted to 
fight against one another, but with their trunks only, a 
barrier raised breast high preventing them from coming 
to closer quarters. The Indian elephants he observes 
have no tusks and are tameable at any age, while those 
of Etliiopia to be tamed must be caught young.*^^ 

As a Christian he naturally observed, and as a monk 
willingly recorded, the state of Christianity in the East. 

*3 Cosmas Indicopleustes. Montfaucon, Nova Coll. Patrum, I, 
p. 338. 

** Tows 86 liTTTOvs airo Tlepaidos <t)€pov(riv aury, Kai ayopa^ci Kai Tiju^ 
arfXeiav tovs (pepovraSy p. 339. This importation of horses into 
India, and from Persia, continues to this day, and is frequently- 
alluded to by Ibn Batoutah ; those from Pars were preferred, pp. 
372-3, II, but they were then subject to a duty of seven silver 
dinars each horse, ih., p. 374. 

45 vofxtaixara, p. 339. The word used by Sopater in the preceding 
page, consequently a gold coin, see Embassy to Ceylon. Proco- 
pius observes that neither the Persian king, nor indeed any bar- 
barian sovereign, places his effigy on his coins (II, 417). " The 
Parthian and some of the Hindu kings did." — Wilson's Ariana 
Antiqua. 

*^ P. 339, u. s., and compare p. 141, with regard to the Ethiopian 
elephants from the inscription at Adule. 



224 INDIAN EMBASSIES, FROM 

In Ceylon there was a Christian church of Persian 
residents, with a priest and deacons and other ecclesi- 
astical officers,*^ all from Persia. At Male, Calliena, a 
bishop's see, and the Island of Dioscorides*^ (Socotora), 
were Christian communities, also dependent on Persia 
for their ministers and subject to the Persian metro- 
politan ; and this, though in the case of Socotora the 
inhabitants, colonists from the time of the Ptolemies, 
were Greeks and spoke Greek. In Bactria too and 
among the Huns and other Indians and indeed through- 
out the known world*^ were numberless churches, 
bishops, and multitudes of Christians, with many- 
martyrs, monks, and hermits. 

He describes and gives drawings of some of the 
animals and plants of Ethiopia and India. - In general 
he closes his descriptions^^ by stating, either that he has 

^7 Kai -iraaav rrfv cKKXrjnriaa-riKrjv Xeirovpyiav, p. 337, U. S. 

''s So also the Relations Arabes of Socotora : " La plupart de 
ses habitants sont Chretiens... Alexandre y envoya une colonic de 
Grecs...ils embrasserent la religion Chretienne. Les restes de 
ces Grecs se sont maintenues jusqu' aujourd'hui, bien que dans 
I'ile il se soit conserve des hommes d'une autre race," p. 139, and 
see also note, pp. 217-59, II, v., where Eeinaud refers to both 
Cosmas and the Periplus of the Erythraean Sea ; see also Marco 
Polo, p. 702, Marsden's ed. 

49 Cosmas goes through the several nations in detail ; but having 
to do only with India I omit particulars. I observe, however, 
that he gives no Christians to China, though Masoudi says of 
Canton, in the tenth century : " the town is inhabited by Mos- 
lims. Christians, Jews, and Magians, besides the Chinese." — 
Meadows of Gold, 324, I. In the space of three, rather two and a 
half (V. Relations Arabes, p. 13), centuries then Mahomedanism 
had penetrated to China. At the same rate of progress Chris- 
tianity should have been known there in the third century, 

50 For these descriptions, vide pp. 344-5, and the drawings at 
the beginning of II, v, Montfaucon's Nova Coll. Patrum. 



CLAUDIUS TO JUSTINIAN. 225 

himself seen what he has been just describing and 
where and how he saw it, or if he have not seen it, what 
personal knowledge he has of it. Thus to his notice of 
the rhinoceros he adds, that he saw one in Ethiopia and 
was pretty near it ; to that of the Cheirelephus, that he 
had both seen it and eaten its flesh ; to that of the hip- 
popotamus, that he had not seen it but had bought and 
sold its teeth ; and to that of the unicorn, that he had 
only seen a statue of one in brass standing in the four- 
turreted palace in Ethiopia. But when he comes to 
speak of the bos agrestis, the moschos, and the pepper^^ 
and cocoanut trees, animals and plants belonging to 
India, I observe that he does not even hint at any per- 
sonal knowledge of them, and I ask myself — Was 
Cosmas ever in India ? 

When his ship was nearly carried away into the Great 
Ocean, Cosmas was then bound for Inner India f^ and as 
he calls Taprobane an island of Inner India, by Inner 
India I presume that, unlike the ecclesiastical writers 
of his age, he intends not Ethiopia and Arabia Eelix, 
but the Indian Peninsula. Again in another place 
after having spoken of Ceylon and alluded to the prin- 
cipal marts of India, to the White Huns settled on its 
northern frontier and the lucrative commerce the 



'^^ He describes the pepper tree as a sort of vine, very unlike 
the pepper trees I have seen at Palermo. He probably means the 
betel. " The betel is a species of pepper, the fruit grows on a 
vine, and the leaves are employed to wrap up the areca nut." — 
Heeren, Hist. Ees., II, 294. "The betel is found in the two 
Indian peninsulas, Malabar and Arracan." — Id., 295. 

^2 See suj^ra, note 19, p. 217. 

Q 



226 INDIAN EMBASSIES, FROM 

Ethiopians carry on with them in emeralds,^^ he adds, 
" and all these things I know partly of my own know- 
ledge and partly from what I have learned by diligent 
inquiry made at no great distance from the places them- 
selves." But this surely is no evidence of India visited, 
at least not such evidence as is before us of his having 
been at Auxume where at mid-day with his own eyes 
he saw the shadows falling south ; at Adule, where at 
the request of Elesboas he copied the inscription on 
Ptolemy's chair \^^ or in Sinai, which he trudged through 
on foot listening to the Jews as they read for him the 
Hebrew letters sculptured on its boulders.^^ So, notwith- 
standing that he passed the Straits of Bab-el-Mandeb 
and lay off the Island of Socotra ; notwithstanding his 
name of Indicopleustes and his vague assertions ; and, 
more than all, notwithstanding his narrative, which is 
sober as fact and commonplace as reality, I cannot help 
doubting that he ever was in India. 

On a review of these notices of India, it seems : 1st. 
That for nearly a century after the fall of Palmyra no 

53 Id., II, 339. *' Autrefois on portait dans l*Inde Temeraude qui 
vient d'Egypte" (Eel. Arabes?), 153, I, 232,11. Olympiodorus, 
Excerp. de Legat., p. 466, Corp. Byz. 

^ For Auxume, vide Cosmas, Montfaucon, II, Col. nova Patrum, 
II, p. 264. Adule, p. 144, id. 

^^ ddey cariv iSeiP ev €K€ivr) rri eprjixq) rov 'S.ivaiov opovs ev iratTais rats 
Karairavaeai iravras tovs \idovs twu avToOi, tovs e/c ruv opeuv airoKXwfi- 
/xivovs^ycypa/j.iJ.fvovs ypafifxacri yAinrrots 'E$paiKois, &>s avros iyw irf^ovaas 
rovs roTTovs p.apTvpa>. aiiva nai rives lovSaioi avayvovres SirjyovvTO Vfxiu^ 
\iyoVT€i y€ypa(pOai ovrws — ampais rov 5e, eK ^uAtjs rrfS Se, erei rcfSe, 
fi.rji'i rifSf — Kada Kai Trap' Tjfxiv voWaKis rivis iv rais lenois ypa<povaiv. — 
p. 205. Does be allude to tbe Nabatbsean inscriptions : " qui 
couvrent les parois des rocbers de la presqu'ile du mont Sinai"'? — 
Eeiuaud, Mem. sur la Merene, p. 12, tirage a part ; and for tbese 
inscriptions, Journal Asiatique, Jan. and Feb., 185U. 



CLAUDIUS TO JUSTINIAN. 227 

important mention of India was made by any Greek or 
Latin writer whatever. 2ndly. That the accounts of 
India which then and afterwards appeared, whether in 
Travels, Geographies, Histories, or Poems, those in the 
Topograph! a Christiana excepted, were all in the main 
made up of extracts from the writings of previous ages 
and added nothing to our knowledge of India. 3rdly. 
That of such writings these compilers in general pre- 
ferred, not those which recorded authenticated facts,^^ 
but those which worked most on the imagination ; and 
they indeed heightened their effect by new matter of the 
same character. 4thly. That these writings gradually 
took rank with, and even displaced the more critical 
studies of Strabo, Arrian, Ptolemy, etc. Thus the 
Periegesis of Dionysius,* on which Eustatius wrote a 
commentary, and the Geography of the anonymous 
writer who so far as I know first gave locality to Eden, 
were honoured by Latin translations, and judging from 
the currency their fictions obtained became the text 
books of after ages. Thus too the Bassarika of Dionysius 
for Indian countries and towns is more frequently re- 
ferred to than either Strabo or Arrian by Stephanos 
Byzantius; and thus the Apollonius of Philostratus 
becomes an authority for Suidas/^ and the Theban 
Scholasticus for both Suidas and Cedrenus, who borrow 
from him their accounts of the Brahmans/^ to which 

^ The description of India in Ammianus Marcellinus must be 
excepted from this censure, v. 

* Bernhardyus places Dionysius at the end of the third or early 
in the fourth century, the latest date assigned him. — Proleg. Geog. 
Min., V. II. 

'7 Vide sub vocibus, Poros et Brahmans. Suidas. 

^8 Hist. Comp., 267-8, I, v, Bonn. Here the description of the 



228 INDIAN EMBASSIES, FROM 

Cedrenus adds some particulars drawn, partly from the 
anonymous Geography probably, partly from the Pseudo- 
Callisthenes^ and partly from some other writer whom I 
am unable to identify. 5 1 lily. That of Eastern travellers 
in the fourth and fifth centuries many were priests ; as 
we may surmise from the number of Christian churches^^ 
in India, which were all subject to the Persian metro- 
politan,^^ and which all received their ecclesiastical mi- 
nisters from Persia, or sent them there for education and 
ordination ; and as we gather from the frequent mention 
of priests in the travels of those ages. Thus the author 
of the Tract inscribed to Palladius,^^ and the Theban 
Scholasticus visit India in company, the one of the 
Bishop of Adule, the other of a priest. And Cosmas 
travels on one occasion with Thomas of Edessa after- 
wards metropolitan of Persia, and with Patricius of 
the Abrahamitic order ; and in his latter years he be- 
comes a monk, as does also Monas,^^ who assisted him in 
copying the inscription on the throne of Ptolemy. 6thly. 
That notwithstanding the religious spirit which evidently 

Brahmans is from Palladius; of tlie Macrobioi from the Geo- 
graphy ; the story of Candace from the pseudo-Callisthenis, III, 
23 ; but whence Alexander's visit to Britain ? 

59 V. from Cosmas, supra, p. 26. 

60 Jesujabus of Adiabene, Patriarch a.d. 650 (Assemann, III, p. 
313), thus remonstrates with Simeon, Primate of Persia : " At in 
vestra regione ex quo ab eccles. canon defecistis interrupta est 
ab Indise populis sacerdotalis successio : nee India solum qua a 
maritimis reg. Pers. finibus usque ad Colon spatio 1200 parasangis 
extenditur, sed et ipsa Pers. regio...in tenebris jacet.'' — Asse- 
mann, Bib. Or., Ill, 131. 

61 Palladius was himself a great traveller, vide Hist. Lausiaca, 
Lauso Epistola, p. 897, III, Bib. Vet. Patrum, ed. de la Bigne^ as 
indeed were the monks and priests of these ages, ib., passim. 

62 He entered the monastery of Eaithu, Eiim. Cosmas, p. 195. 



CL.\UDIUS TO JUSTINIAN. 229 

animated the travel writers of these times, their accounts 
of other and far countries are, contrary to what one might 
have expected, singularly silent on the subject of the 
religions of the people they visited. I have already ex- 
pressed my surprise, that the earlier Christian fathers, 
who to win the attention of the sleeping nations called 
up from their tombs the forgotten creeds of Chaldsea and 
Phoenicia, Assyria and Egypt, should never have ap- 
pealed to the living faith of Buddha. Its ritual was not 
unlike the Christian. Like Christianity, it rejected the 
claims of race and country and in itself found another 
and stronger bond of brotherhood. Like Christianity, it 
was a religion Catholic and Apostolic, and to attest its 
truth not a few had died the martyr's death. It was the 
creed of an ancient race. It was shrouded too in a 
mystery which startled the self-sufficiency of the Greek 
and awakened to curiosity even Eoman indifference. 
It was besides eminently fitted to elucidate Christian 
doctrines, and therefore to draw to itself the attention 
of Christian writers f^ and yet — the name of Buddha 
stands a phantom in their pages. But then few were 
the Hindus who visited the Eoman world, and all as 

^ Buddhism and Buddhist practices attracted the attention of 
the earliest travellers of our age. Vide Carpinus, in Hakluyt, 64, 1, 
and Rubruqnis, 118, 127-8 ib., Marco Polo, p. 47, S. G. ed., and a 
summary of what was known of Buddhism in his own time in 
Maffei, Hist. Indie, p. 169, 12mo. Marco Polo too has given an 
account of Buddha, pp. 449-50, u. s., with some errors, no doubt, 
but wonderfully correct and detailed when compared with the 
short notices in Greek writers. But still none of these early 
travellers I am bound to say connect, or see any similarity be- 
tween, the Buddhist and Christian services. Marco Polo only 
observes of Buddha "si fuisset Christianus fuisset apud Deum 
maximus factus/' ibid. 



230 INDIAN EMBASSIES, FROM 

merchants lived buying and selling, though not all were 
Buddhists. And if here and there one more earnestly- 
religious than his fellows was eager to preach Buddha's 
law, whom could he address and where find an inter- 
preter for thoughts so far out of the range of the ordi- 
nary Greek intellect? Allow however that he had 
studied and mastered the Greek language. Among his 
auditory, the merchants with whom he traded, the few 
men of letters if any who sought his society — that a 
Christian, one of a small community, should have been 
found, is an accident scarcely to be expected ; and the 
silence of the fathers is thus in some measure intelligible. 
But now that we have a Christian church in Ceylon, 
and Christians who are daily witnesses of the ceremonial 
of Buddhist worship, who have heard of Buddha's life 
and miracles and mission, and have visited the monas- 
teries where his followers retire to a life of prayer and 
self-denial, I cannot understand how it is that no word 
relating to this wide-spread faith has reached the ears of 
Cosmas, or has attracted the notice of Syrian bishops, 
and that these ages are worse informed on Buddhism 
than was that of Clemens Alexandrinus. 

We will now trace the changes which took place in 
the commercial relations of Eome and India. When 
Palmyra fell, Alexandria did not as might have been 
expected inherit its Indian trade and the wealth and 
power that trade brought with it. For when Palmyra 
fell, Alexandria was suffering from civil war, recent 
siege and capture. Its citizens had been given up to 
plunder and put to the sword, and Bruchium, its noblest 
quarter, razed to the ground.^"* It was overwhelmed by 

^^ See from Ammianus Marcel, and Eusebius, notes, supra, p. 166* 



CLAUDIUS TO JUSTINIAN. 231 

its own disasters, and in no condition to engage in dis- 
tant and costly ventures. But when Palmyra fell, the 
fleets Arab and Indian which fed its markets did not 
perish in its fall. The ships and crews lived still, the 
populations to whose wants they ministered^^ had not 
disappeared. The old demand remained. For a moment 
the course of trade is disturbed. A great mart has been 
destroyed, and others must be found or created to take 
its place. At first probably the merchant fleets, as was 
their wont, made for Vologesocerta, and there delivered 
their cargoes, which perhaps found a way up the right 
bank of the Euphrates to Apamia, and thence to Antioch 
and the cities of Syria. But the cost of transit and the 
want of a back freight must very soon have closed up 
this route, in so far at least as it was the route to the 
Syrian sea-board, though doubtless the river remained 
always the great highway for the supply of Mesopotamia 
and the neighbouring states. And now it was, that the 
Arabs and Indians probably began to frequent the ports 
which, unknown to Strabo and Pliny, studded according 
to Ammianus Marcellinus the Persian Gulf;^^ hither 
they brought the products of the East, and hence shipped 
horses, for which they found a ready sale among the 
kings and nobles of India and Ceylon. And now too 
it was that the Arabs^^ turned their attention to the Eed 

^ Appian thus describes tlie Palmyrenes : A.vT(i)vio5...f'inKa\wv 
ouTOiS, dri Puixaiwv Kai Ilapdvaiuu ovt€s €(popiai, ey CKarepovs €iri5e|iCD$ 
€ixov envupoi yap ovres, Kofn^ovai fx^v 6K li^pcruv ra IvZiKi Kai ApafiiKa, 
ZiaridevTai 5' tv ttj Pco/jiaKDv, de Bel. Civil., v, ix. 

^ " Cujus sinus per oras omnes oppidorum est densitas et 
vicorum, naviumque crebri decursus," xxiii, 6, II. 

^ Some believe the last Permaul (of Cochin) was induced by 



232 INDIAN EMBASSIES, FKOM 

Sea route,^ once in the hands of the Alexandrian mer- 
chants, but now neglected. In a deep bay on the 
western shores of the Arabian Gulf,^^ the first after 
having entered the straits which afforded shelter and a 
safe anchorage, they found Adule, the chief port of 
Ethiopia, though only a neat village in the time of the 
Periplus. They saw that access to it both from East and 
West was easy ; that it lay beyond the confines, and was 
not subject to the fiscal regulations, of the Eoman Empire; 
that its mixed population, of which the Arab race formed 
no inconsiderable part, was friendly and eager to forward 
their views. On Adule then they fixed as the depot 
for their trade, and soon raised it from a village and 
petty port to be one of the world's great centres of com- 
merce. 

But under the immediate successors of Aurelian (died 
A.D. 275), the Eoman Empire was in so disturbed a 
state, and under Diocletian (a.d. 283-304) Alexandria 
suffered so fearfully for its recognition of Achilleus, that 
its merchants were probably compelled, and not disin- 
clined, to leave the whole Indian trade in the hands of 
the Arabs, who had always been not only carriers by 

the Jains (a.d. 378, 52) to proceed to Mekka, at which place many 
of their faith were established, carrying on a trade with India which 
subsequently fell into Moorish hands. Day, Land of the Perinauls, 
p. 44, he refers to a paper by Kookel Kelso Nair, Madras Quarterly 
Journal of Science, no year, volume, or page. 

^ It had been known from old time. Agartharohides (2nd cent. 
B.C.) speaks of the native boats which from the Fortunate Islands 
(probably Socotora) traded with Pattala, on the Indus. Be Mari 
Eryth., § 133. Muller, Geog. Min., I, p. 191. 

69 ifxTtopiov vofxtfiov Keifxevov ev KoKirtp Bad(i...airo oTaSiuv eiKoai TTfS 
daKaaarjs €<ttiv t) Adovhis KoofXTi avfjifurpos. — Periplus, § 45 or § 4. 



CLAUDIUS TO JUSTINIAN. 233 

land and sea but traders also, as the story of Scytliianus 
proves ; and who, as they travelled from city to city, 
carried their wares''^ with them and wherever they 
stopped exposed them for sale and thus supplied the 
immediate wants of the neighbourhood and the trades- 
men of the district. But with the restoration of order, 
during the long reign of Constantine, the Eoman 
merchant grew wealthy and enterprising ; he extended 
the sphere of his operations, and though, partly from 
inability to compete with the cheaply built but well 
manned craft of the Arabs, and partly from long disuse 
and consequent ignorance of the Indian seas, he does 
not seem to have again ventured his ships upon them, 
yet he gradually recovered his old position in the 
Arabian Gulf, and at least shared in its trade from 
Adule homeward.71 To Adule he himself resorted, and 
at Adule through his agents^^ managed his dealings with 

70 The wealth of Scythianiis, when it came into the handa 
of Manes, consisted xp^co^ «o" apyvpov Kai apw/jLarcDU Kai aWwv (Epi- 
phanius con. Manichse. 617, I) showing that Scythianus's journey 
to Jerusalem, if undertaken primarily in the interest of truth, was 
not without some commercial object. 

^ Both by his ships on the Red Sea and his fleets of boats on the 
Nile. Of Roman ships on the Red Sea we know from Cosmas and 
Procopius (de Bello Pers., I, 19, p. 101). Of the traffic on the 
Nile we may get some notion from the ruse employed by Athan- 
asius to escape from his pursuers (Photius, Hoeschiel, p. 1448), 
and more directly from the wealth Palladius gives an Alexandrian 
merchant, avipu tvXafi-qv Kai <pi\oxpi<TTOv, Svo fxvpiaSar XP^"''**'""' irpay- 
^lartvofxivov fiera eKUTov trKotutv €k ttjs avcoTtpas 0rjj8ai5oj Kanovra. 
LXV, Hist. Lausiaca. 

'2 I conclude this from a passage in Procopius already cited in 
part. Telling of the slaves and adventurers left behind him by 
Hellestheeus, on his return from the conquest of the Homerites, 



234 INDIAN EMBASSIES, FROM 

the East, leaving to the Arabs and perhaps the Indians 
all the risks and profits of tlie ocean voyage. 

But that Eoman intercourse with India was indirect 
and kept up by Arab vessels is so contrary to received 
opinion, that T will now cite and examine the few events 
and notices'^^ bearing on the Indian trade which are to 
be met with in ancient writers. And, 

I. The embassy to Julian'''* (a.d. 361) is scarcely con- 
ceivable, unless during his reign or rather that of Con- 
stantine some and probably a commercial intercourse 
existed between India and the Eoman Empire.^^ But 

he says ovroi 6 Xecas aw irepois riciv EaiUKpaicp Tip ^a(n\fi (Travaarav- 
Tfs avrov fxip eu riPi rcav ^KeLi'ij (ppovpiuv Kadeip^au, erepopSe 'O/mepirais 
fiaaiKea KareaT-rjaavTo Afipafiop ficp opu/xa' 6 Se APpafxos ovtos xptariavos 
fxep r)v, 5<)v\o9 Se Pco/xatov apSpos, eu n-oAft AidioTiOfP A5ovXi8i ini ttj Kara 
daKaacrap epyaaia diarpilirjP exovros. — Id., I, p. 20, 105. And that 
commercial agents were of old date may be shown from Relations 
Arabes, I, 68. 

'^ From Alexander's conquest of India to the close of Justinian's 
reign embraces a period of about nine hundred years ; from the 
rediscovery of India in a.d. 1498 to the publication of Maflfei's 
Historise Indices not a century elapsed ; and yet Maffei has given 
an account of India and China, of the manners, customs, charac- 
ters, and religions of their peoples with which not all the notices 
of India collected from nine centuries of Greek and Eoman writers 
are to be compared for falness and accuracy. Does not this in 
itself go far to prove that our relations with the East in Maffei's 
time merely commercial and religious were very different from 
those of Greece and Rome, which at first purely political were then 
frequent and intimate, but which in the end became commercial 
only and must have been confined to an interchange of goods, and 
that without any intercourse with the people ? 

74 Vide supra, pp. 125-6. 

■^5 In a Geographical Tract, Totius Orb is Descriptio, translated 
from the Greek and written a.d. 350-3, Geog. Minor., II, 520, it is 
said oi Alexandria : " Hsec cum Indis et Barbaris negotia gerit 



CLAUDIUS TO JUSTINIAIT. 235 

as for sucli an embassy, the presence at the Sinhalese 
Court of any enterprising Eoman merchant, a Sopater, 
and who like Sopater may have reached Ceylon in an 
Adulitan ship, would fully account, — and indeed its 
Serendivi, so much more akin to the Serendib of the 
Arabs than the Salike of Ptolemy, smacks of Arab 
companionship and must have filtered through Arab 
lips— I cannot look upon it as indicative of an inter- 
course either direct or frequent. 

II. Epiphanius (about a.d. 375) gives some few de- 
tails relating to this trade. In his story of Scythianus 
he speaks of the Eoman ports of entry in the Eed Sea, 
CEla, the Alah of Solomon, Castron Clysmatos,"^^ and 
Berenice, and observes that through Berenice Indian 
wares are distributed over the Thebaid, and by the Nile 
are carried down to Alexandria and the land of Egypt, 
and to Pelusium, and thus passing by sea into different 
cities, iraTpiha^^p the merchants from India import their 
goods into the Eoman territory. From this passage, 
written at the close of the fourth century, it appears : 

merito ; aromata et diversas species pretiosas omnibus regionibus 
niittit." But another version, ih., " supra caput enim habens 
Thebaidis Indorum genus et accipiens omnia prsestat omnibus" — 
thus showing that although dealing in Indian wares its Indians 
were only Ethiopians. 

76 So called because here the Israelites crossed over the Eed Sea. 
Cosmas, Montfaucon, Col. Nov. Pat., p. 194. 

77 'Opuoi yap ttjv Epv9p7]s OaAaaarjs Siatpopoi, eiri ra (nofiia rrjs Pw/xo- 
Pias SiaKiKpi/xfVOi, 6 fxev eh €iri rrju Ai\av...6 5e erepos (iri ro Kaarpov 
KKvafiUTos' aWws 5e avwraron fxi rrjv BepviKTiv KaK(wpi.iVir\v, 5t' 7]S BepviKtjs 
KaXovfxevns em r-qv &r)0ai^a (pepovrai Kai to otto ttjs IvSikti^ epxafifpa eiSr} 
fKfi(re TT) @r}0aiSi SiaxvvfTai, icai €irt ttji/ AXe^auSpeiav 5ia TOu...Ne(Aou 
Kai fTTi iraaav tcdi' PnyvnTtDV yrju, Kai firi to TlfAovtriov (peperai, Kai ovtus 
€t$ ras aAAas TrarpjSas Sta 6a\aaarjs Sifpxofifvoi ol ano ttjj USiktjs firi ttji* 

Vwfiai'iai^ ffjiiropevovTai. — Epiphanius, a. Hseres., XL VI, p. 618, I. 



236 INDIAN E:,IB ASSIES, FROM 

1st. That EpijDlianius speaks of Indian goods as then 
imported by sea and through one port, Berenice, into the 
Eoman Empire. 

2ndly. That he uses the same terms^^ to designate 
both the imported goods and the importing merchants, 
and thus possibly intimates that like the goods the 
merchants also were " Indian," i.e., Arabs of either 
Ethiopia or Eastern Arabia, the Indians of the ecclesi- 
astical writers of this age. Indeed one might ask 
whether it was not owing to their association with 
Indian wares that these peoples came to be themselves 
known as Indians. 

ordly. That he makes no mention of Adule. But 
Adule, however closely connected with the ocean trade 
between Kome and India, was really an Ethiopic city, 
and could therefore scarcely find a place in this itinerary 
which begins with the Eoman ports of entry. 

III. The presence at Alexandria (some time before 
A.D. 470) of those Hindus whom Severus lodged in his 
house."^^ I have already remarked on the inexplicable 
proceedings of these travellers who, as they were neither 
merchants nor public officers, could only have travelled 
for amusement or instruction, and who took every pre- 
caution against either.^^ I would now direct attention 

'8 ra airo rrjs Iv^ikt^s epxofJL^va etSrj and Siepxonevoi ol airo rrjs IfSiffTjs. 
The lighter and more precious wares are expressed by the word 
6t57], as spices, pearls, etc. It corresponds with the "notions" of 
American commerce. 

79 Vide supra, p. 189. 

^ Many an English traveller might be cited whose habits abroad 
very much resemble those of Damascius' Hindus. But then we 
travel for fashion's sake a good deal, because we must ; but a 



CLAUDIUS TO JUSTINIAIT. 237 

to the character as well of Severus who received, as of 
Damascius who has recorded their visit. Both clung to 
the old superstition : and the one was supposed to favour 
its re-establishment by his personal influence and the 
other by his writings, the very dotage of "Platonic 
Paganism."^^ Both were credulous : and as Severus 
would without examination and only too eagerly have 
welcomed as guests any men calling themselves Hindus 
with whom he became acquainted, so Damascius would 
have noticed a visit of any reputed Hindus, whether 
made or not, if said to be made to such a man. The 
visit is open to suspicion. 

IV. The Indian embassy to Justinian. Malalas notices 
two Indian Embassies, either of which may possibly be 
Hindu. The first reached Constantinople with its gifts 
the same year (a.d. 530) that John of Cappadocia was 
made Praetorian Prsefect ; the second with an elephant 
about the time (a.d. 552) that Narses was sent into 
Italy against the Goths.'^^ Now with regard to the 
first of these embassies, as in Malalas the Ethiopians 
and Eastern Arabs are called Indians,'^^ the question 
arises whether this embassy does not properly belong to 

Hindu who leaves liis country travels because he has in him the 
spirit of travel ; he travels as Mango Park did, Belzoni, Burkhardt, 
and many others, impelled by the strong desire to see strange men 
and strange lands. 

^ See Gibbon, Decline and Fall, c. xxxvi, sub an. 468, and the 
extracts from Damascius, in Photius Bibliotheca, p. 1042. 

S2 V. from Malalas, note supra, p. 126, and Malalas, p. 484. 
IvdiKTiwvos 17' TrpeaPevTrjs h'Soov KttTfir(fi<pdr] fxera kul c\c<pavTos €V 
KotvaraurivoTToKfi. 

^ Malalas, u. s., and p. 457; also Asseman, Bib. Orient., lY, pp. 
452-3. 



238 INDIAN EMBASSIES, FKOM 

some one or other of these peoples ; and to answer it we 
must enter into some detail. From Malalas and Pro- 
copius^* we gather : that there were seven Indian king- 
doms, three Homerite, and four Ethiopian; that the 
Ethiopians occupied the regions lying eastwards and 
extending to the ocean, and carried on a great trade from 
Auxume with Rome through the Homerite country; that 
some time prior^ to a.d. 529, Dimnos, Damianus (Theo- 
phanes), Dunaan (Asseman), the Homerite king, who 
with many of his people was of the Jewish persuasion, 
seized upon some Roman merchants while traversing his 
dominions in pursuit of their business, confiscated their 
goods and put them to death, in retaliation as he pre- 
tended for the continued persecutions to which Jews 
were subjected in the Roman states ; that the Auxumi- 
tan trade with Rome was in consequence interrupted, 
and that the Auxumitan king, aggrieved by the injury 
to himself and the wrongful death of his allies, invaded 
and subdued the Homerites, and in fulfilment of a vow 
contingent on his success declared himself a Christian. 
To this Ethiopian sovereign or rather his successor, called 
Elesboas by Malalas, Hellesthoeus^^ by Procopius, on the 

8« Malalas, p. 433. Procopius, de Bello Pers., p. 104. The 
division of the Indians into kingdoms belongs to Malalas ; the 
slaughter of the Eoman merchants and its cause and consequences 
to both. 

^ In A.D. 522-524, vide Asseman, u. s., I, 865, note and text, 
where is an, if genuine, extraordinary letter of Dunaan' s, in which 
with evident satisfaction he details all the cruelties, and they 
are fearful, which he has inficted on the Christians within his 
power, no one of whom has wavered in his faith. 

^ The converted king Malalas calls Andas, p. 434, Theophanes 



CLAUDIUS TO JUSTINIAX. 239 

breaking out of the Persian AVar (a.d. 529), Justinian 
sent an embassy, and adjured him by their common 
faith to invade the Persian territory, and breaking off 
all commercial relations with the Persians to send ships 
to those Indian ports where silk was to be found and 
there purchase it, and thence by way of the Homerite 
country and down the Nile and through Egypt to im- 
port it into Alexandria; and as an inducement to 
attempt this enterprise he held out to him the prospect 
of a monopoly and the hopes of great profits. But 
Procopius observes that, though the Ethiopians promised, 
and exerted themselves, they failed, to gain a share in 
the silk trade : for they found the ground already occu- 
pied by Persian merchants who everywhere forestalled 
them in the Indian markets. ^^ And Malalas concludes 
his account of this negotiation by stating that Elesboas 
in return sent an Indian ambassador with letters, aaKpa^, 
and gifts to the Koman Emperor. Is then our Indian 
Embassy the same as this one from Elesboas ?^^ and does 

Adad J Aidog, Asseman, u. s., I, 359, notes 5 and 6. The king of 
the Embassy, Cosmas like Malalas knows as Elesboas. The am- 
bassador I should have thought was Nonnosus, who left an account 
of his embassy, and from the ambassador, whoever he was (Pro- 
copius calls him Julianus, as also Theophanes, Chronog., p. 377), 
Malalas derived his information, pp. 457-8 ih., and he gives a 
graphic description of this barbaric court. 

^ To<5 T€ At0to\|/t T7]P /xera^av covfiffOai irpos rcav JvZcov oBvvarov rfV. 
firei oet 56 oi Tlepaav ffxiropoi irpos avrois TOis do/mois "yet'o/JLevoi (ov Se 
trpwTa al tujv YvZtav vrjej Karaipovaiv^ are x«paf -npoaoiKouvTes rr\v Sixopov), 
avavTa coveiadai ra (popria ^ludaai. — Procopius, u. s., p. 106. And in 
Justin's reign the Turks seem to have taken the place of the Per 
sians, ol TovpKOi tots to re ^rjpuu ffitropia Kai tovs \ifx€vas KoretX"" 
Tavra Se irpiv fxiv Utpaat. Kareixo"* —Excerpt. Theophani. Hist. Ex- 
cerpta de Legationibus, p. 484. 

^ Elesboas having received and entertained Justinian's Embassy, 



240 INDIAN EMBASSIES, FROM 

its first mention refer to its departure from Auxume, its 
second to its arrival in Constantinople ? Or is it to be 
referred to some one of the Pseudo-Indian kingdoms ? 
Or though unrecorded by any other writer, is it really 
Hindu ? Who shall tell ? With regard to the second 
Embassy : it is noticed by both Theophanes and Ced- 
renus/^ but noticed seemingly not because it was any 
strange sight in Constantinople, but because its elephant, 
a native of Africa as of India, broke loose and did much 
mischief. However this may be, a Hindu Embassy in 
Constantinople was no improbable event, for after Eles- 
boas had at the instance of Justinian ineffectually 
attempted to open up the trade with India, would he 
not naturally bring over and forward to the Koman 

Kareir6/ut|/6 Kai ffaxpai 8ia Ivdov Trpecr$impov KaiSuspa rtp jSaatAei Pooixaiuv. 
Malalas, p. 458, and afterwards, p. 477, incidentally mentions the 
Embassy we have been examining : eu avrcp Se ry XP<"'¥ '^°" irpca- 
j8i/TTjs IvSoov /xiTa SapoDv Kar^ir€fx(pOr] ev KwvaTuvTiuovnokei, /cat avTcp 7Cp 
XP<^vV IwavfTjs 6 KaiTTTaSol €yiV€To tirapx^s vpaiTupiwv. 

89 The chronology of these times is loose and uncertain. Ac- 
cording to Theophanes (Chron. 1, 346-7)^ the Christianisation of 
Auxume, represented by its kings (they had probably gone back 
to their old heathen faith), and the events which led to it, occurred 
A.J). 535, and the Embassy with the elephant, a.d. 543. Cedrenus 
refers it to a.d. 550. Taking then the dates assigned by Malalas, 
A.D. 530 for our first, a.d. 552 for the second. Embassy, it is 
clear that the first Embassy follows too closely on the alliance and 
engagements of Elesboas, while between these and the second 
there is too great an interval, to admit of the reasons I have ad- 
duced for either one of these Embassies being Hindu. Of 
Theophanes' dates (he lived early part of ninth century) I scarcely 
like to speak — the first is so manifestly wrong. Bub if we take 
a.d. 542 for the date of the Elephant Embassy, and a.d. 533, 
Gibbon's, for that of Justinian's to Auxume, then these reasons 
would be pertinent enough. 



CLAUDIUS TO JUSTINIAN. 241 

court some native Indians, ambassadors or others, as the 
surest evidence he could give of his good faith and zeal 
in carrying out his part of the treaty ? One of these 
embassies may be Indian, but it is no proof of any 
direct intercourse with India. Indeed the whole narra- 
tive rather intimates that Eoman enterprise extended no 
further than Auxume, and that all trade beyond was in 
the hands of some other people. 

V. The introduction of the silk-worm into the Eoman 
Empire. According to Procopius^^ it happened in this 
wise. Aware of the interest Justinian took in the silk 
trade, some monks from India who had lived long in 
Serinda (Theophanes^^ says it was a Persian), brought 
over in a reed.(ez^ vapOrj/ci) silk- worm's eggs, taught the 
Eomans how to treat them, and by acclimatizing the 
worm to make themselves in the article of silk inde- 
pendent of the Persians and other people. I incline to 
think that the monks were Persians ; for India was 
under the Persian metropolitan, and its churches as we 
learn from Cosmas were served by priests from Persia ; 
and a Persian Christian would be more Christian than 
Persian, and more likely to benefit his co-religionists 
than his countrymen. But let the monks be Eomans, 

^ 'Tiro TovTov rov xpovop Tives fxovaxov €^ Ii-Sa;!' t]kovt€^ yvovres T€ 
cos lovarii'iapcp 5ia anou5r)S fir} ixrjKeTi irpos Hepauv tt]V fxtra^av wpetadai 
Vuixaiovs, etc. — De Bel. Goth., p. 546. 

91 ^yjf, ,j-c^„ aKwArjKcov yepecriv avrjp n€p(nis...ev Bt'^avncfi vireSei^tP' 
ovTos (K '2,rfpwv...ro airfpfxa roou aKwXrjHcov ev vap6r}Ki Xa^uv juex^t Bufai'- 
Tiou SierxftxraTo, etc. — Excerpta Theoph. Hist., p. 484, lived close of 
the sixth century. The seed was brought overland, as the 
French, to avoid the tropical heats, are now sending it. — Times, 
May 12, 1863. 

li 



242 INDIAN EMBASSIES, FROM 

and Eomans we know did occasionally visit and sojourn 
in India, and their introduction of the silk- worm is no 
evidence of any ocean trade with India. 

VI. A passage in Procopius which intimates that 
Koman ships frequented the seas in which were found 
the loadstone rocks. This passage I will quote at length 
and examine. After having described the Arabian Gulf 
from OEla, and told of its islands and the Saracens and 
Homerites on its Eastern coast, and alluded to the many 
other peoples living inland up to the very borders of the 
cannibal Saracens, beyond whom he places the Indians, 
" but of the Indians leaves others to speak at their dis- 
cretion,"^^ Procopius returns to Boulika of the Homerites, 
and notices the calm sea and easy transit thence to 
Adule. He then proceeds to treat of Ethiopia, but first 
touches on the peculiarly constructed boats used by the 
Indians, €v JvBoi,<;, and on this sea. " They are not," he 
observes, " painted over with tar or anything else, 
nor are their planks made fast to one another by iron 
nails but with knotted ropes, ^po'xpL^, and tliis not as 
is generally supposed, because there are in these seas 
rocks which attract imn( for the Roman sliifs from CEla, 
though iron-fastened, suffer nothing of the sort), but 
because the Indians and Ethiopians neither have any 
iron nor are able to buy any from the Eomans, who are 
forbidden to sell it them on pain of death. Such is the 



^2 ol Se 'O/xrjpiTai ovroi €v x^P^ '''V €ir€K€tva WKUvrai irpos tt? ttjs 
OaXaaaris rfovi, virep re avrovs aWa eOvrj iroWa, /xexP* ^s rovi avQpuirotpa- 
yovs ^apaKTjvovs, iSpvaOai <paai' jue0' ovs 5e 70 yevr} twv Iv^wv earip. aWa 
rovTwv fiev Trept Myerft} kKaaros us irr) awry fiov\ofxiucf eariv. — De Bello 
Pers., p. 100. 



CLAUDJUS TO JUSTINIAN. 243 

state of things about the so-called Eed Sea and the 
coasts on each side of it."^^ On this passage I will 
observe — 

1st. That as long as it treats of the shores of the 
Arabian Gulf, where the Komans traded, its language is 
clear and definite enough, but as vague when it comes 
to speak of the inland peoples, of whom very evidently 
Procopius had been able to obtain very imperfect infor- 
mation. 

2ndly. That the Indoi with whom the Ethiopians 
and the Persians seem to have had commercial dealings 
must have been the inhabitants of a country without 
iron, and not therefore of India celebrated of old time^^ 
for its steel, but very possibly of Arabia,^^ into which 
in the age of the Periplus iron and sometimes from 
India was regularly imported, and the boats of which^^ 
quite answered to the description of Procopius. 

^ ra ixev ovv aix<pi rri epvOpq, OaKaffaij Kai X"P<? V awTTjs €^' eKarepa (an 
ravrp irri fX^t. — lb., p. 102. 

9* Ctesias, p. 80, 4. 

9^ Of Arabia or Arabians settled in Ethiopia. Elsewhere Pro- 
copius speaks of Ethiopia as India : Net\os /x6«/...e| Ipduv ctt' Ai7U7rTou 
iptpofjLevos , etc. De ^dificiis, vi, I, p. 331, III. 

9^ " Les vaisseaux Arabes n'approchaient pas pour la force des 
vaisseaux Chinois (Ibn Batutah mans each junk with 1,000 men, 
600 sailors and 400 soldiers, iv, 91, French tr.)...construits en 
general en bois et sans melange de fer, ils tiraient tres peu d'eau 
...Les Arabes employaient...dans leurs constructions navales des 
planches de cocotiers, et ces planches etaient liees entre elles avec 
des chevilles de bois." And Rel. Arabes, Dis. Prel., p. 56, " II n'y 
a que les navires de Siraf dont les pieces sont cousues ensembles," 
ih., I, p. 91 ; but Ibn Batutah : " C'est avec des cordes de ce genre 
que sont cousues les navires de VInde et du Yaman," and he ad- 
duces as a reason why iron is not used, the rocky bottom of the 
Indian sea against which iron-bound vessels break to pieces, 
iv, 121. 



244 INDIAN EMBASSIES, FROM 

Srdly. That the last paragraph indicates that Proco- 
pius confines his observations to that part of the Eed 
Sea which is inclosed by coasts on either side, the 
Arabian Gulf, and that consequently the loadstone rocks 
referred to are not those on the Sinhalese coast, but 
loadstone rocks in or near the Arabian Gulf. 

VII. We have Chinese authority that a great trade 
between Eome and India existed in the sixth century of 
our era. Ma-touan-lin, born a.d. 1317, in his Eesearches 
into Antiquity, briefly afl&rms that " India (a.d. 500-16) 
carries on a considerable commerce by sea with Ta-Tsin, 
the Eoman Empire, and the Ansi or Asse, the Syrians "f 
and the Kou-kin-tou-chou (Ancient and Modern Times), 
having alluded to the commerce of India with the West, 
states that the Eoman trade witli India is principally by 
sea, and that by sea the Eomans carry off the valuable 
products of India, as coral, amber, gold, sapphires, 
mother of pearl, pearls and other inferior stones, odori- 
ferous plants, and compounds by concoction and distil- 
lation of odoriferous plants, and then adds that from 
these compounds they extract the finest qualities for 
cosmetics, and afterwards sell the residue to the mer- 
chants of other countries.^^ We observe — 



^ Vide Chinese account of India, from Ma-touan-lin, tr. by 
Pauthier, Asiatic Journal, May to August, 1836, pp. 213-7. For 
the date of Ma-touan-lin's birth, v. his Life, Eemusat, Nouv. 
Melanges Asiat., II, 168, where Eemusat compares Ma-touan-lin's 
great work to the Mem. de TAcadem. des Inscriptions, and observes 
that De Guignes in his Hist, des Huns, and the Jesuit missionaries 
in their several works, owe to it much of their knowledge of China 
and Chinese literature. 

^s Also tr. by Pauthier, Journal Asiatique, Oct. and Nov., 1839, 



CLAUDIUS TO JUSTINIAN. 245 

1st. That silk is not included in the list of Indian 
merchandise (the etBr) of Epiphanius) sent to the Koman 
Empire by sea. 

2ndly. That this trade by sea necessarily presumes 
that the goods exported from India were known to 
be so exported either on Eoman account or for the 
Roman market, but not that they were exported in 
Eoman ships. We have seen that Eoman merchants 
sometimes visited India, that in India Eoman money 
was current, and the Eoman Empire known and re- 
spected, and we may fairly suppose that that Empire, 
its trade and its wants and their supply, were often 
subject of talk in the Indian^^ ports, and would certainly 



pp. 278, 380-93. This account seemingly refers to India in the 
early part of the sixth century {ih., p. 274); but it then goes back 
to speak of the relations which had before existed between Eome 
and China ; how that ( a.d. 166) Antun, Antoninus, sent an embassy 
through Tonquin with presents, and how the Romans in the in- 
terest of their commerce travelled as far as Pegu, Cochin China, 
and Tonquin; and how a Roman merchant, one Lun (a.d. 222- 
278), came to Tonquin, and was sent on by its Governor to the 
Emperor. As Lun and his doings close this short summary of 
Roman relations with China, I conclude that he was one of the 
merchants mentioned above, and that they, like him, belong to 
the period ending a.d. 278, when Roman commerce with the East 
most flourished, — and as, with one unimportant exception, no fur- 
ther notice is taken of the Roman Empire, I presume that after 
this time its commerce with these distant regions entirely ceased. 
^ When in Bochara (a.d. 1250), Marco Polo meets the ambas- 
sadors of Kublai Khan, they press him to visit their master : " eo 
quod nullum laiinum usquam viderat, quamvis videre multum 
affectabat," c. II. And Maffei (Hist. Ind., L, iv) observes of the 
Byzantine Turks that in the fifteenth century the Indian kings 
called them " corrupta GroBca voce Rumos quasi Romanes." But 
while this indicates that the memory of Rome survived among the 



246 INDIAN EMBASSIES, FROM 

become known to the Chinese traders there, and would 
as certainly be spoken of by them on their return home, 
and would thus find their way into the works of Chinese 
geographers and historians. 

But in order that we may not reason on to a foregone 
conclusion, hurrying over or explaining away the events 
and authorities which make against us, we will for a 
moment suppose that they sufficiently establish the fact 
of an ocean trade between Eome and India — and then 
as from the age of the Ptolemies, ending B.C. 46, to 
that of Firmus, a.d. 273, we know through Strabo, 
Pliny, the Periplus, Ptolemy, and Yopiscus, that Alex- 
andrian ships sailed for India ; we have to show w^hy it 
is that after that time, though we read of Eomans, 
lawyers, priests, and merchants, who travelled thither 
and all seemingly through Adule and one of them 
certainly in an Adulitan craft, we read of none who 
went in a Eoman ship. How too is it, we will be asked, if 
Eoman ships thus crossed the Indian Ocean, that neither 
they nor their crews are seen among the vessels and 
peoples which according to Cosmas crowd the port and 
thoroughfares of the great Sinhalese mart ? How, that 
the Christians of Socotora, an island of Greek colonists,^ 
and right in the course of Alexandrian ships en route 
for India, were subject not to the Greek but to the 

Hindus, it is no evidence of any commerce between the peoples, no 
more evidence than is the mention of an Indian princess in the 
romance of (Peredur ?) of a knowledge of India among the Cam- 
brian bards. 

1 Speaking of the inhabitants, the Periplus : exo-i Se ivtlivoi nai 
etrifjLiKrot Apafiasv /cat en 'EWtjvcov tcov npos epyaaiav eKirKtovToov. — P. 
281, § 30. 



CLAUDIUS TO JUSTINIAN. 247 

Persian metropolitan ?2 And when Justinian, as Pro- 
copiiis relates, sought to re-establish the silk trade and 
to Avrest it from the hands of the Persians, how is it 
that he applied, not to his own merchants of Alexandria 
whose services he might have commanded, and whom 
had they had ships in those seas he would have wished 
to encourage, but to the Ethiopian Arabs, whom to the 
detriment of his own subjects he tempted with the 
hopes of a monopoly ? Again, on this supposition, how 
account for it, that the loadstone rocks, those myths of 
Koman geography, which in Ptolemy's time, the flourish- 
ing days of Ptoman commerce, lay some degrees east- 
ward of Ceylon, appear a.d. 400 barring its western 
approach, and a.d. 560 have advanced up to the very 
mouth of the Arabian Gulf ?^ Surely an ocean trade 
with India is, all things considered, all but impossible. 

But to return to the loadstone rocks. As in an age 
little observant of the laws and phenomena of nature, 
lands unknown save by report and unexplored are ever 
according to their surroundings invested either with 
mythic terrors or mythic beauties ; and conversely, as 
all lands in the conception of which the mythic pre- 
dominates are lands which lie outside the knowledge, and 

2 That the Christian population of Persia was large we may- 
gather from the reasons which Stebocthes, the Persian ambassador, 
urges upon Justin to dissuade him from breaking the truce with 
Chosroes. Excepta e Legatis, e Menandri Hist., p. 315, Bonn ed., 
Byzant. Hist., and that it was loyal to its sovereign its conduct at 
the siege of Chlomaron indicates, ib., p. 331. 

3 See supra, p. 242, and the Pseudo-Callisthenes, III, vii, p. 103, 
Didot, and Procopius, sup., p. 38. For Ptolemy's Maniolai Geog. 
Lib. vii, c. II. 



248 INDIAN EMBASSIES, FEOM 

consequently without the sphere of intercourse, of the 
people who so conceive of them ; it follows that these 
rocks at the very least indicate the extreme limits of 
Eoman enterprise, and the several changes in their posi- 
tion, changes ever bringing them nearer to the Eoman 
Empire, the ever narrowing range of Eoman enterprise 
in their direction. Their changes of position therefore 
confirm our view of the Eoman maritime trade. 

But though there is no evidence to show that at this 
period Eoman ships navigated the Indian seas, we know 
that Indian goods still found their way to Constanti- 
nople, and from both Greek and Arab writers that Arab 
vessels were employed in the Indian trade. So early as 
the age of the Ptolemies, Agatharchides* (b.c. 146) 
notices a trade between Aden and the Indus, and 
carried on in native boats, efjuuopiKa^ tcov Trpocr^copLuyv 
o-xeBca^. The Periplus (a.d. 80-90) speaks (§ 26) of 
Arabia Eudsemon, Aden, as the great entrepot of Indian 
commerce in the olden time, before Alexandrian ships 
ventured across the ocean ; and describes Muza, Mokha, 
as a busy sea-port full of sea-faring men, shipmasters, 
and sailors, and as trading with Barygaza in its own 
craft.^ And lastly, Cosmas (a.d. 535), among the mer- 
chant ships to be seen at Ceylon, mentions those of 
Adule and the Homerites. Arab writers also allude to 
this branch of Arabian enterprise. Thus Haji Khalfa,^ 

4 De Mari Erythrseo, c. 103, p. 191, II, Geog. Grseci Min., ed. 
Miiller. 

^ TO ixeu 6\ov Apa^wv vavKXrjpiKoov avOpooircau kui vavriKcov vheova^ei 
Kai Tots ott' ifiiropias irpayfiaa-i Kiveirai' avyxpt^t'Tai yap rji rov nepav 
fpyaaia. Kai Bapvya^oof idiois i^apriaixois. — § 21, p. 274, I, ih. 

6 " Ad qualemcq. liistorise Arabum et Persarum, inquit Hemdani, 



CLAUDIUS TO JUSTINIAN. 249 

in his sketch of the ante-Islamic times, tells of the old 
Arabs : how they travelled over the world as merchants 
and brought home with them a large knowledge of the 
peoples they had visited : and how to the Islanders of 
Bahrain and to the inhabitants of Omman his age owed 
its histories of Sinds, Hindus, and Persians. And thus 
though Masoudi^ implies that in the early part of the 
seventh century the Indian and Chinese trade with 
Babylon was principally in the hands of the Indians 
and Chinese, yet have we every reason to believe from 
the Eelations des Voyages Arabes, of the ninth century, 
that it was shared in by the Arabs whose entrepot was 
Khanfou.^ 



notitiam sibi parandam nemo, nisi per Arabes pervenire potest... 
Peragrabant enim terras mercatus causa, ita ut cognitioneiu 
populorum sibi compararent. Pari modo, qui Hiram incolebant, 

Persarumque historiam, Homeritarumq. bella et eorum 

per terras expeditiones cognoscebant. Alii qui in Syria versa- 
bantur, res Roman. Israel, et Grrsec. tradiderunt. Ab iis qui in 
insulis Bahrain et terram Oinman consederant historiam Sindorum, 
Hindorum et Persarum accepimus. Qui denique in Yemana 
habitabant cognitionem horum popul. omnium consecuti sunt, 
utpote regum erronum (Sayya'ret) umbra tecti." Haji Khalfa, 
tr. Fliigel, I, 76, Or. Tr. Fund. 

' "The Euphrates fell at that time (the time of Omar, died 
A.^. 644) into the Abyssinian Sea, at a place... now called en-Najaf ; 
for the sea comes up to this place, and thither resorted the ships 
of China and India, destined for the kings of El-Hirah," p. 246, 
Sprenger's tr., and I, pp. 215-6, French tr. But Reinaud, who by 
the way has no great confidence in Sprenger's accuracy, refers 
these observations to the fifth century. See sujpra, p. 162, Emb. 
from Claudius to Justinian. 

8 Relations Arabes, p. 12, which gives an interesting account of 
the dangers and mishaps to which the merchant was liable, and 
which, p. 68, shows the commerce with China falling away, and 



250 INDIAN EMBASSIES, FEOM 

But what in the meanwhile had become of the over- 
land trade with India ? When in the second half of 
the third century, and after nearly three hundred years 
of Parthian rule, the Sassanidae. reasserted the Persian 
supremacy over the peoples of Central Asia, taught by 
the misfortunes and fall of their predecessors which 
they might not unfairly trace to a partiality for western 
civilisation,^ they eschewed Greek and Eoman manners, 
literature and philosophy. They besides restored and 
reformed the national faith, the religion of Ormuzd. 
They cherished old national traditions. They boasted 
themselves lineal descendants of the old Persian kings,^^ 
and stood forward as the champions of the national 
greatness. Their first communication with Eome was a 
threatening demand for all those countries which, long 
incorporated with the Eoman Empire, had in old time 
been subject to the Persian dominion.^^ For a moment 
it seemed as though by force of arms they would have 
made good their claim, but their barbaric pride proved 
their overthrow ; and after they had spurned his friend- 
ship,^2 ii^Qj ^^Qj.Q compelled to abate their pretensions in 

why. In Ibn Batutah's time, in so far as the Chinese seas were 
concerned, " On n'y voyage qu'avec des vaisseaux Chinois," iv, 91 ; 
but of these the sailors were often Arabs — thus the intendant of 
the junk in which Ibn sailed was Suleiman Assafady, id., 94; and 
one of the men was from Hormuz, 96 ; and I think the marines 
were from Abyssinia. 

9 V. Tacitus, Annal., L. II, c. 2. 

10 Eeinaud, sur la Mes&ne, pp. 13-14, tirage h. part. 

11 Apra^ep^ns yap rns Uepcrifis rovs re UapBovs . . .viKTi<ra^ . . .arparevnari 
re 'iro\K(f...rri Supjqt e<pe^pevcras, Kai aneiXcov avaKrrjaeffdai iravra cos Kai 
TrpoorjKopra ol 6*c irpoyovoov, baa irore ol waA.at Ylepaai jxexpi TVS 'EAAtj- 
viKTfjs 6a\aaarjs eaxov, etc. — Dio Cassius : Kai ai(pi\ivov, 80, c. 3. 

1^ Sapor, who followed out the policy of his father, and forbade 



CLAUDIUS TO JUSTINIAN. 251 

the presence of the victorious Odenatus, and subse- 
quently to buy a peace of Diocletian by a cession of 
Mesopotamia and the eastern borders of the Tigris. 
Thus stayed in their career of conquest and even de- 
spoiled of their fairest provinces, they directed their 
attention to the consolidation of their power and the 
development of the resources of their kingdom. They 
anticipated and enforced that cruel policy which in 
later years was advocated by and has since borne the 
name of Macliiavelli. Under one pretext and another, 
and sometimes by force of arms, they got within their 
hands and pitilessly ordered to death the petty kings 
who owned indeed their supremacy, but whose sway 
was really despotic and allegiance merely nominal.^^ To 
the hitherto divided members of their Empire they 
gave unity of will and purpose. They made it one 
State, of which they were the presiding and ruling mind. 
To educate and enlarge the views of their subjects, they 
did not, like their predecessors, study Greek and speak 
Greek, but they collected and translated the master- 
pieces of Hindu literature and Greek philosophy,^* and 

the use of the Greek letters in Armenia, and promised to make 
Merugan its king if he would bring it to the worship of Ormuzd 
(Moses Khorene, II, pp. 83-4, tr.), ordered his servants to throw 
into the river the rich gifts, niyaAoirpfirr] So pa, of Odenatus, and 
tore up his supplicatory letters, ypaixixara Seriafos Bvvafxiv exovro, 
and trod them under foot, and asked, " Who and what he was who 
dared thus to address his lord ? Let him come and with bound 
hands prostrate himself before me unless he is prepared to die, 
and all his race with him." Petri Patricii Hist., p. 134, Byzant. 
Hist. 

18 V. Beinaud, u. s., pp. 46-7. 

^* E. g. of Hindu literature, the Pancha Tantra. — Assemann, 



252 IXDIAX EMBASSIES, FROM 

thus nationalized them. They encouraged commerce. 
So early as the fourth century of our era, they entered 
into commercial relations with China, whicli they culti- 
vated in the early part of the sixth l3y frequent em- 
bassies.^^ We hear too of their ambassadors in Ceylon, 
and with Ceylon and the East they carried on a large 
ocean traffic, as the many flourishing emporia in the 
Persian Gulf sufficiently indicate, and as Cosmas dis- 
tinctly affirms. The old overland route to India also, 
comparatively neglected in the great days of Palmyra 
and during the troubled reigns of the last Parthian 
kings, regained under their fostering care its old im- 
portance, and became the gTeat high-road over which 
silk was brought to Europe. And such was the justice 
of their rule,^^ and such the protection and facilities 
they afforded the merchant, that silk worth in Aurelian's 
time its weight in gold, and a luxury of the rich and 
noble, was in the reign of Julian sold at a price which 
brought it within every man's reach.^'^ By their treaties 



Bib. Orient., Ill, 222. Plato and Aristotle, of Greek philosophers 
etc., — as we may gather from Agathias, II, c. 28, p. 126. 

1' " On a eu des rapports avec la Perse au temps de la seconde 
dynastie des Wei" (a la fin du quatrieme siecle). Eemusat, N. Eel. 
As., I, 248. " Ce royaume, a.d. 518-19, payait un tribut consistant 
en marchandises du pays," p. 251, ih. " Le Eoi, a.d. 555, fit oflfrir 
de nouveaux presents," p. 252. 

16 Agathias, L. II, c. 30, p. 131, though he speaks of the high 
opinion he held of the Persian rule to refute it. 

17 Of Aurelian's time, Vopiscus : "libra enim auri tunc libra 
serica fuit." Hist. Aug., II, 187. Ammianus Marcellinus observes 
of the Seres: "conficiunt sericum, ad usus ante hac nobilium, 
nunc etiam infimorum sine uUa discretione proficieas." Hist., 
xxiii, 6. 



CLAUDIUS TO JUSTINIAN. 253 

"with Jovian (a.d. 363) and with the second Theodosiiis, 
they not only recovered the provinces they had lost, but 
acquired also, with a not unimportant cantle of the 
Eoman territory, a portion of the much coveted kingdom 
of Armenia.^^ The overland route was now wholly in 
their hands, the Persian Gulf also was theirs, and when 
towards the close of Justinian's reign Khosroes Nushir- 
wan^^ overran Arabia, and gave a king to the Homerites, 
they may be said to have held the Eed Sea and the 
keys of all the roads from India to the West. 

13 The hundred years truce between Theodosius and Bahram 
concluded A.D. 422. Gibbon, iv, p. 310. The final incorporation 
of Armenia as Pers-Armenia with the Persian Empire took place 
at the commencement of the fourth century, ih., 212. 

19 V. d'Herbelot, Bib. Orientale, s. v., but Theophanes (Hist., 
p. 485) seems to place this event in the reign of Justin. Excerp. 
Hist., p. 485. Corpus Byz. Hist. 



INDEX. 



Abdera, 24 

Abgari, 19 

Abraham, 161 

Achilleus, 232 

Adad, Andas, Aidog, 238 

Aden, 84, 248 

Adule, 161, 196, 216, 232, 233, 246 

.^desius, 179 

^lian, 6, 10, 11, 17, 29, 61, 97, 

98, 136, 159 
^sculapius, 39, 51 
Agatharchides, 188, 232, 248 
Agathias, 252 
Alankava, 176 
Albyrouuy, 15, 216 
Alexander, 3, 7, 8, 11, 13, 15, 22, 

23, 25, 86, 104, 150, 201 
Alex. Polyhistor, 49, 132, 134, 

135 
Alexandria, 82, 83, 132, 159, 165, 

230 
Ammianus Marcellinus, 42, 104, 

125, 126, 127, 164, 178, 181, 

183, 220, 230, 231, 252 
Ananta, 190 
Anapidu, 140 
Anarajapura, 93 
Annius Plocamus, 91, 114 
Anthony, 67, 70, 83, 231 
Antioch, 2 

Antiquarian Eepository, 164 
Antonines, 127, 129, 132 
Antoninus Pius, 125, 129,138, 153 
Antun, Marcus Antoninus, 120, 

153, 243 
Anula, 115, 122 
Aomus, 9 



Apollo, 8, 34 

Apollonius Tyanensis, 1 to 02 

Apologns, 163 

Appian, 83, 231 

Archelaus, 171 et seq. 

Ardhavan, 195 

Ardjake, 159 

Aristobalus, 13, 143 

Aristotle, 49 

Aroushi, 8 

Arrian, 1, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 11, 13, 

15, 47, 76, 81, 84, 96, 106, l!i7, 

121, 128, 133 
Aranoda, the Eed Sea, 4 
Asiatic Society's Transactions, 

150 
Asoka, 13, 36, 110 
Asseman, 153, 177, 178, 179, 228, 

237, 238, 239 
Athanasius, 150, 233 
Athens, 15 
Attila, 41 
Augustse ScriDtores Historise, 

127, 129, 154, 155, 163, 164, 166 
Augustus, 60, 65, 67, 72, 8(5, 150, 

162 
Aurelian, 129, 163, 165, 167, 232, 

252 
Aurelianus Victor, 125, 154 
Auxume, 180, 187, 196, 240 
Avienus, 192 
Avitus, 192, 193 

Bab-el-mandeb, 161, 216 
Babylon, 2, 3, 15, 24, 173 
Bacchus, 7, 8, 23, 33, 36, 60, 205 
Bactria, 134, 224 



INDEX. 



255 



Balara, 55 
Balkh, 28 
Barake, 161 
Bardanes, 3, 11, 24 
Bardesanes, 19, 20, 24, 32, 36, 38, 

59, 134, 137, 148, 151, 153, 199 
Baronius, 185 
Barygaza, 81, 162 
Batne, 178 
Bayer, 61 
Berenice, 160 
Bernhardyus, 227 
Bleminyis, 166, 1(37, 205 
Bochart, 30, 99 
V. Bohlen, 5, 8, 9, 49 
Boutta V. Buddha 
Brahmins, 2, 22, 32, 39, 138, 144, 

191, 199 
Bruchium, 165, 165 
Buchanan, 127 
Buddha, 81, 132, 133, 134, 150, 

173, 174, 175, 177, 189, 229 
Bunsen, 137 
Burmah, 129 
Burnell, 109 
Burnes, 4, 5, 7, 12, 22, 28. 34, 36, 

46 
Burnouf, 105, 107, 108, 140, 148, 

150, 200 
Burton, 218 
Byzantium, 161 

Cabool, 5 

Calanus, 36, 72, 143, 149 

Callisthenes, Pseudo, 23, 196, 228, 

247 
CaUistratus, 137 
Cane, 84, 161 

Caracalla, 132, 154, 163, 165 
Carmani, Sarmanoi (?), 190 
Casaubon, 71 
Cashmere, 151 
Castlereagh, 73 
Caucasus, 4, 5, 8, 57 
Cedrenus, 1, 153, 171, 182, 227, 

240 
Ceylon, 91, 104, 216, 219, 221, 

225 . 
Chandragupta, 110, 148 



Chandra Muka Siwa, 99 

Chares, 7 

Charra, 171 

China, 130 

Chinese, 129, 130, 219 

Cissia, 8 

Cicero, 57 

Caudius, 85, 91, 99, 114, 125, 126 

Clemens Alexandrinus, 132, 133, 

134, 135, 136, 175, 230 
Clitarchus, f)0, 209 
Cochin China, 129 
Colebrooke, 157 
Constantine, 180, 183, 184, 234 
Constantius, 126, 178, 181, 182, 

183 
Coptos, 160 
Cook, 1 
Cophen, 5, 6 
Cornwallis, 5 
Cos, 131 
Cosmas, 91, 92, 104. 126, 214, 

230, 233, 239, 246, 248 
Ctesias, 11, 12, 26, 33, 34, 51, 52, 

58, 137, 157, 189,195,243 
Cumarilla, 150 
Cureton, 153, 154 
Cyril, 134, 135, 171, 172, 173, 174 

D'Alwis, 105, 109 

D'Anville, 80 

Damascius, 189, 237 

Damis, 162 passim 

Dandamis, 137, 201 

Darius, 3 

Davy, Dr., 121 

Day, 127, 232 

Deriades & Duryodhana, 204, etc. 

Dewanamapatisso, 36 

Dhatusera, 111 

Dimnos, Damianus, Dunaan, 238 

Dion Cassius, 68, 69, 71, 73, 74, 

75,85, 125, 127, 165,250 
Dion Chrysostom, 36, 61, 62, 126, 

127, 128, 134, 156, 189 
Diocletian, 232, 251 
Diodorus Siculus, 61, 134, 138, 

143 
I Dionysius, 9, 207, 208 



256 



INDEX. 



Dionysius Periegetes, 128, 192, 

200, 201, 204 
Divi, 126, lb8 
Domitian, 54 
Domninos, 1, 2 
Dracontius, 192, 193 
Draupati, 213 
Dubois, 208 
Dutugamini, 92, 122 

Eden, 193 

Elagabalus, 128, 129, 137, 153, 

155 
Elaro, 122 

Elesboas, 217, 226, 238, 239, 240 
Ellis, 98 
Elphinstone, 5, 6, 13, 15, 24, 28, 

36 
Emesa, 137 
Epbrein Syrus, 177 
Epiphanius, 153, 155, 171, 172, 

173, 176, 233, 235, 245 
Ersch and Gruber, Encyc, 127 
Eratosthenes, 12, 57, 95, 97, 111 
Eretrians, 2, 3 
Ethiopia, 225 
Eudoxus, 193 
Euphrates, 82, 162 
Eusebius, 38, 70, 129, 153, 166, 

180, 230 
Eustathius, 9, 200, 205, 210, 227 
Eutropius, 154 
Ezekiel, 100, 101 

Fa-hian, 91, 93, 96, 197, 202, 222 
Fauche v. Mahabharata 
Firmus, 166, 167, 240 
Flugel, 82 
Florus, 68, 72 
Forbes, 6, 78, 81 
Foucaux, 175, 190 
Frumentius, 179. etc. 

Gallienus, 163 
Ganga, 158 
Ganges, 28, 40, 158 
Gar u da, 4 

Georgius Syncellus, 70 
Germanai v. Sramans 



Gesenius, 82 
Gibbon, 82, 237, 253 
Gildemeister, 53, 174, 212, 218 
Goldstucker, 108, 110, 152 
Gollas, King of White Huns, 222 
Gronovius, 120 
Guignes, de, 244 

Hadrian, 127, 163, 165 

Haji KUalfa, 249 

Hakluyt, 229 

Hamilton, 93, 112 

Hardy, 36, 138, 140, 141, 147, 

148 
Harivansa, 175, 213 
Hastings, Warren, 156 
Hawkesworth, 1 
Heeren, 65, 82, 225 
Herbelot, 176 
Helesthseus v. Elesboas 
Hercules, 23, 33, 36, 132 
Herodotus, 2, 4, 13, 65, 96, 207 
Hierocles, 38, 193, 195 
Hieronymus v. St. Jerome 
Hilgenfeld, 19, 155 
Himalaya, 150 
Hindu-kush, 4, 57 
Hiouen-Thsang, 13, 17, 18, 57, 

66, 81, 91, 93, 96, 221 
Hippalus, 99, 107 
Hippuros, 91, 99, 102 
Hodgson, 175 
Holland, Sir H., 6 
Holland, Philemon, 164 
Homer, 42, 44, 81 
Homerites, Hamyarites, 189 
Horace, 67, 72 
Houan-ti, 130 
Hydraotis, 25, 26 
Hyphasis, 25, 28, 54 

Iarchas, 25, 54 

Ibn Batuta, 12, 16, 47, 50, 94, 

219, 223, 243, 250 
Ichthyophagi, 55 
India, 2, passim 
Indians, Arabs, 236 
Indicopleustes v. Cosmas 
Indus, 11, 212 



I 



INDEX. 



257 



Isidorus, 189 
Isidorus Characeni, 76 

Jacob, Sir G. le G., 121 
Jains, the, 144 
Jambulus, 60 

James, St., of Sarug, 178, 179 
Jerome, St., 69, 71, 72, 134, 175 
Jerusalem, 173 
John of Cappadocia, 1 26 
Joinville, 96 
Jomandes, 41 
Jove, 8, 11 

Journal Asiatique, 226 
Juba, 10, 11 

Julia Domna, 56, 128, 136 
JuUan, 125, 176, 179, 181, 234 
Julien, 78, 94 
Juliopolis, 160 
Julius Africanus, 19 
Julius Pollux, 131 
Justinian, 125, 126, 234, 239, 
247 

Kadphises, 74, 77 

Kalliena, 81 

Kanischka, 67 

Karnapava, 6 

Klaproth, 175, 176 

Knox, 96, 98, 105 

Kolan Natannawana, Upham's, 

121 
Krishna, 8 
Kublai Khan, 4, 65, 245 

Lane, 28 

Langlois, v. Harivansa 

Lanka v. Ceylon 

Lao-Tseu, 176 

Lassen, 7, 15, 74, 77, 92, 98, 102, 

103, 104, 107, 109, 110, 112, 135, 

138, 157, 177, 207 
Lausius, 195 
Lenormant, 102 
Lepidus, 70 
Libanius, 178 
Lucan, 29 
Lun, 130, 245 
Lycophron, 9 



Lycotas, 67 



Maffei, 84, 229, 234, 245 
Mahabharata, 8, 52, 148, 191, 195, 

200, 204, 212 
Mahawanso v. Turnour, 113, 114, 

116, 118, 122, 175, 201 
Mains, 70, 72 
Mailla, 176 
Makrobioi, 200 

Malalas, 1, 126, 237, 238, 239, 240 
Malet, 6 

Manava Dharma, 139 
Manes, 17 J, 177, 238 
Maniolai, 197 
Manou, 8 

Marcellinus v. Ammianus 
Marcellus de, 207 
Marcianus, 104, 201 
Marco Polo, 4, 33, 44, 65, 93, 95, 

222, 224, 229, 245 
Mandura, 52 

Marcus Aurelius, 130, 153, 154 
Martial, 73 
Masoudi, 5, 49, 58, 162, 197, 200, 

216, 224, 249 
Matouanlin, 96, 244 
Maurice, 175 
Mela Pomponius, 99, 110, 120, 

141, 167 
Melania, 186 
Mendez Pinto, 58 
Megasthenes, 8, 20, 32, 47, 49, 

52, 60, 94, 109, 110, 112, 138, 

137, 138, 143, 147, 148 
Merx, 155 
Menu, 7, 16, 17, 23, 31, 37, 38, 

138, 139, 141, 144, 145, 146, 147, 

202 
Meropius, 179 et seq^ 
Meros, 8 
Meru, 7, 8, 52 
Messalina, 99 
Metrodorus, 179, 182 
Miiller, 107, 135 
Minerva, 34 
Minos, 43 
Montfaucon, 104 
Moor, 31, 158, 189, 195 

S 



258 



INDEX. 



Moorcroffc, 53 

Morrheus, 210, 212, 213 

Morrison, 95 

Moses Khorene, 251 

Musaeus, or Moses Episcopus, 1 95 

Muziris, 161, 16:^, 197 

Napier, Sir C, 5, 12, 14, 36 

Narses, 337 

Neander, 185 

Nearchus, 18, 29, 56, 143 

Nelson, 109, 120, 136 

Nelcyndon, 161, 163 

Nero, 85 

Nicolaus Damascenus, 60,65. 73, 

78,81 
Nile, 12 
Nineveli, 2, 13 

Nonnos, the Dionysiacs, 203 et seg. 
Nonnosus, 196, 239 
Nysa, Mount, 7, 8, 57 

OCELIS, 161 

Odenatus, 162, 281 

Olearius, 17, 22, 34, 54 

Olympiodorus, 226 

Onesicritus, 5, 11, 12, 29, 36, 47, 

58, 95, 112, 141, 189 
Ophir, 100 
Origen, 135, 155 
Orontes, 204 
Orosius, 70, 71, 72 
Oswif, 33 

Owen, Professor, 31 
Oxydi-acse, 22, 23 

Pagala, 55 

Palseogonoi, 109 

Palibothra, 60 

Palissemundus, 93, 104, 105, 107 

Palladiiis, 186, 195, 228, 233 

Palamedes, 41 

Palmyra, 82, 127, 132, 159, 162, 

230 
Pan, 133 
Pandya, Pandion, 68, 72, 78, 80, 

115 
Panjab, 6 
PoHno, 65 



Papasudana, 152 

Paraka, 58 

Paravant, 81 

Patala, 54 

Patricius, 228 

Pausanias, 129, 131, 294 

Pauthier, 75, 129, 244 

Pentaour, 204 

Periplus, The, v. Arrian, and 127, 

161, 162, 232, 248 
Peshawar, 4 
Petrus Patricius, 251 
Petrus Siculus, 174 
Philalethes, Ceylon, 98 
Philosophi Desc. Orbis, 190 
Philostorgius, 188 
Philostratus, 1 to 62 passim, 136, 

160, 194 
Photius, 153, 174,189 
Phraotes, 14, 17, 21, 25, 38, 44, 

54 
Pliny, 11, 12, 36, 50, 73, 76, 82, 

91, 99, 106. 107, 110, 116, 119, 

120, 131, 160, 161, 162, 190, 194, 

212 231 
Plutarch, 34, 60, 61, 72, 128, 130 
Plutarch, Pseudo, 210 
Polo V. Marco 
Polygnotus, 14 
Porphyry, 10, 32, 34, 36, 54, 134, 

153 
Porus, 13, 14, 15, 25, 65, 66, 72, 

78 
Poseidippus, 29, 30, 59 
Pritchard, 121 
Prabodhatschandradaja, 133,143, 

147 
Pramat'has, 4 
Probus, 167, 171 
Procopius, 161, 164, 178, 179, 222, 

223, 233, 238, 239, 241, 242, 

243, 247 
Prometheus, 4 
Propertius, 67 
Proteus, 42 

Ptolemies, The, 246, 248 
Ptolemy, 98, 102, 104, 105, 107, 

128, 161, 197, 198,212,222,247 
Paunna, Purna, 141, 150 



INDEX. 



259 



Pythagoras, 49 

QUINTUS CUBTIUS, 128 

Eachias, 103, 116, 119. 121 
Eaajah Tarangini, 6, 52, 141, 149, 

151, 152, 157 
Eajavali, the Upham, 202 
Eama, 116 

Eamayana, Fauche, 109, 121 
Earn Eaz, 13 
Eavana, 195, 214 
Eawlinson, Sir H., 162 
Eemusat, 244, 252 
Ehadamanes, the, 210 
Eebeyro, 96 
Eeinaud, 15, 83, 56, 60, 65, 67, 

120, 130, 141, 142, 162, 216, 

222, 226, 219 
Eelations Arabes, Eeinaud, 221, 

224, 228, 234, 243, 249 
Eost, 65, 66 
Eouge de, 204 
Eubruquis, 75 
Eufinus, 179 

Sakta Sinha Buddha, 1 75 
SamansBoi, Sarmanoi,i?. Sramans 
Samgha, 140, 146, 150 
Salike, Serendiva, v. Ceylon 
Sandanes, 137, 153, 156 
Sandy a, 152 
Sapor, 250 
Sassanidse, 250 
Scaliger, 70 
Schlegel, 8 

Scholasticus, Theban : 227, 228 
Schrockh, 179, 186, 188 
Schwanbeck, 8, 110, 135 
Scylax from Tzetzes, 208 
Scythianus, 171, 202, 233 
Semnoi, v. Sramans 
Sera, Cera, Seras, 117 
Serse, Sores, 95, 119, 120, 121 
Sevendivi, 126 
Sette Communi, 3 
Severus,132, 154,165 
Severus Alexander, 165 
Severus, Consul, 189, 236 



Sinai, 217 

Sindbad, 91,2:)2 

Singha Eajah, 115 

Sissia, 2 

Sila, 213 

Siva, 8, 13,80, 152, 158 

Smith, Biographical Dictionary, 

72, 82, 99, 126, 128, 154, 183, 

186, 187 
Sopater, 91, 92, 104, 223, 235 
Socotora, 216,224 
Socrates, Ec. Hist. 179, 186 
Solinus, 94, 97 
Solomon, 100, 101 
Sophocles, 39 
Sophoi V. Brahmans 
Sora, 117 
Soroadeios, 8 - 
Soter, 153 
Sozomen, 179 
Speke, 96 
Sramans, 2, 132, 134, 138, 139, 

145, 147, 148 
Stephanos of Byzantium, 143, 

207, 208, 227 
Stobseus, 137, 152. 
Stobera, 55 
Strabo, passim, 4, 31, 84, 162, 

194, 212, 231 
Seutonius, 68, 69, 72, 73, 85 
Suidas, 200, 227 
Sura, 83 
Suryadeva, 8 
Susa, 3 
Sutadeva, 8 

Tacitus, 85, 250 

Tambapanni Taprobane, v. Cey- 
lon 

Tantalus, 43, 48, 54 

Tarshish, 100 

Tathsin, v. China 

TaxHa, 11, 13, 15 

Taylor, 97, 118, 120 

Tennent, Sir E., 92, 96, 99, 100, 
101, 103, 108, 113, 116, 199 

Terebinthus, 176 

Thebes, 8 

Theodoric, 3 



260 



INDEX. 



Theodosius, 253 

Theophanes, 183, 185, 238, 239, 

240, 241, 253 
Theophilus the Indian, 188 
Thilo, 137 
Thomas, K., 137 
Thomas of Edessa, 223 
Thucydides, 19 
Tibullus, 67 
Tillemont, 184 
Tonquin, 13U 
Trajan, 82, 125, 126, 154 
Troyer v. Eadja Tarangini 
Turnour v, Mahawanso, 99, 101, 

105, 111, 212 
Tzetzes, 29, 30, 55, 194 

Ulysses, 41 
Uma, 152 
Upham, 93, 202 

Yalesius, 182, 185, 187, 188 

Varuna, 8 

Venus, 26, 27 

Veddahs, 199 

Vespasian, 85 

Vicentino, 3 

Vincent, 80, 84, 95, 107, 108, 112 

Virgil, 67 

Vishnu, 8, 13, 189 



Vishnu Purana, 6, 7, 8, 15, 25, 38, 

40, 52, 197 
Vologesia, 162 
Vopiscus, 167, 246 
Vossius, 105, 107, 110 

Ward, 208 

Waterton, 28 

Weber, 157 

Wijayo, 100, 103, 108 

Wilford, 4, 13, 25, 40, 49, 52, 113 

Wilkinson, 28 

Wilson, H. H., 7, 9, 12, 13, 26, 

52, 75, 77, 80, 104, 137, 146, 

204, 207, 208, 21 3 
Windt, 9, 4, 107 

Xerxes, 48 

Zanj, Sea of, 216, 218 
Zanzibar, 218 
Zarmanochegas, 66 
Zarmaros, 69 
Zazana, 185 
Zenobia, 129, 163, 166 
Zeuxis, 14 
Zohrab, 70 
Zonaras, 125 
Zosimus, 163, 179 



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